John Blashke, Staff Writer
Students flocked to the annual Student Involvement Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 11 on the back lawn of the Strebel Student Center. The event was hosted all afternoon under a big tent, and students went from table to table to meet their peers and learn about campus organizations.
The Student Involvement Fair is sometimes cited as the quickest way for new students at Utica College to find like-minded new friends and become a part of something bigger.
Darrell Jones, a graduate assistant of college engagement in the SLCE office, helped in organizing the event and encouraged students to attend.
“We have over 80 organizations signed up for the event, so we are expecting a great turnout,” Jones said. “New students should really come with an open mind because there are a lot of great opportunities.”
Clubs such as the Black Student Union, Women in a New Direction, University Church and the National Society of Leadership and Success all made an appearance at the fair.
In addition, MercyFlight, a medical rescue helicopter landed on the Strebel lawn during the fair to introduce students to the aircraft. The rescue staff handed out information about MercyFlight and medical helicopters, and also allowed students to tour the aircraft.
Jody Sainvil is a senior majoring in history education with a minor in Spanish. She is also a founding member of the dance group “Ladies of the Pionettes.” They dance at homecoming as well as basketball games, and have a “southern majorette style” of dancing.
“We are going to be posting about the Involvement Fair and recruiting events on our social media,” Sainvil said. “From there, we look for confident and outgoing dancers.”
Social media is playing a growing role in recruitment for UC’s organizations, as they are highly efficient in keeping track of who is really interested in the club.
“It’s a great way to stay in contact with recruits after the fair,” Sainvil said. “That way, it’s much easier to update them with upcoming events and tryouts.”
Sophomore Matthew Baron has already jumped into the action with a handful of organizations. Baron is the president of one of the college’s newest organizations, Young Americans for Liberty, and is involved in other clubs including the Chaplain for Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity, UC3 Cybersecurity Club and the Investment Club.
“One of the best recruiting tools is having the right literature,” Baron said. “You want to make sure that it properly represents what your organization stands for and its ideologies, that way people can really understand what you have to offer.”
Whether students planned on getting involved or if they just wanted to scope out what there is to see, many showed up to find out what clubs are doing on campus.
“I remember during the Involvement Fair last year the Fencing Club started practicing in the rain,” Baron said. “It was pretty dramatic, but the entire tent was watching and entertained.”
Organizations wore their club’s t-shirts, played music, and some offered free candy and pamphlets.
“The Involvement Fair is four hours long, so students really get the chance to mingle and get to know one another and truly get involved on campus,” Jones said.