By Isabella Donnelly
The fall 2018 Student Involvement Fair brought droves of students to the Brower Student Center, where the College’s diverse collection of clubs and organizations was on display on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The fair gave students, especially first-year and transfer students, an opportunity to explore all that the College has to offer outside of the classroom. Tables covered with colorfully-decorated posters lined the Brower Student Center, showcasing a multitude of opportunities for academic enrichment and social fulfillment. Students proudly represented their clubs and eagerly searched to pass the torch to the next group of students.
At first glance, seeing all of the organizations scattered across the Student Center is overwhelming; however, new students and club representatives agree that the Involvement Fair is a crucial mode of exhibiting the opportunities for involvement on campus.
April Cabala, a freshman economics major, explained how the Involvement Fair made her aware of the numerous organizations she could potentially join.
“There are so many clubs — it’s kind of hard to know all about them,” she said. “I knew of a few but I didn’t know there was this many. It really opened my eyes to what I could do and how many clubs and things you can join.”
Viane Villanueva, a sophomore nursing major and treasurer of Barkada, an organization which represents the College’s Filipino community, expressed how important the involvement fair is in garnering new members.
“I think the Student Involvement Fair is definitely our biggest way to bring in new members and get people to come to our meetings,” she said.
The Involvement Fair represented all of the diverse interests and identities at the College, ranging from greek organizations, cultural clubs, club sports and more. After getting the chance to consider all of the College’s organizations, students had the opportunity to find a group of people with which they identify.
While some clubs may appear to represent a specific interest or group of people, many representatives of organizations were enthusiastic about the notion of inclusivity on campus, and they stressed that their organizations are open to everyone.
Courtney Woods, a senior early childhood education and music major, explained that PRISM, the College’s gender and sexuality alliance, is open to those who are both members of and allies to the LGBTQ+ community.
“If people want to be educated on the different terms and the acronyms and all the different sexual orientations that there are or things that are going on in the community, they can learn about that or if they just want a safe space to hang out and get to know other people,” she said. “It’s not only for LGBT people, allies can come too, of course. We’re open to everybody.”
Gino Pineda, a senior management major and vice president of external operations for Barkada, stressed that while cultural clubs like Barkada may seem to be for students of a particular ethnic background, all students are welcome.
“We are not exclusive, we are inclusive,” Pineda said. “We are there to open our culture up to other students on campus as well, so it is not just limited to Filipinos.”