The fall semester 2021 kicks off with the involvement fair
On Tue On August 31, the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership hosted this year’s Participation Fair. This was one of several month-long WOW (Week of Welcome) events for students.
The Quad was filled with students discovering more than 200 SRU clubs and organizations. Whether it was the Student Government Association (SGA), University Program Board (UPB), Psychology Club, or something as simple as Chess Club, students were able to engage and hopefully , find something to pique their interest.
As this is the first time for many students on campus, whether it is a freshman, sophomore, or someone returning home a year and a half, it is important for students to find a group that they can connect with.
UPB hopes to help new and old students reconnect by providing entertainment and education to SRU students.
Natalie Glenn, Senior and President of UPB, discusses the transition from virtual to in-person regarding organizational participation and plans for the semester.
“It’s really interesting because having little or no interaction with the students, because the students, I think, were so exhausted from Zoom.”
“Everyone wants to do something when they come in,” said Glenn. “It’s definitely a little overwhelming at times. I think it’s gonna be a really cool semester. I feel like everyone is excited, like they can’t wait to do something.
Director of University Events and Junior Student Carriebell Sampson highlights upcoming events in the coming weeks.
“We have what’s coming, the drive-in cinema that people will be looking forward to. We have a trip to the Pirates game.
The Pirates game is currently out of print. The game will take place on September 10, and UPB will provide transportation by bus, which will pick up the students at 3:30 p.m. at the Smith Student Center.
The drive-in will take place on September 24 at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Swope Music Building. They will play “In The Heights” and receive food and concessions.
Clubs and organizations on campus also give students a chance to get more involved in their majors. Clubs such as Psychology Club, Early Years Club, Recreational Therapy Club, and many others provide students with these opportunities. A complete list of these clubs and organizations is available on CORE.
During the online semesters, students have found the opportunity to start new clubs. Senior Nick Uba founded the Exercise Science Journal Club last semester. This year’s participation fair was the club’s first for students on campus.
Uba explains the difficulty of creating a new club while being virtual.
“So online it was hard because it was hard to get interest when you didn’t see anyone,” Uba said. “We just had to send a bunch of emails and hope people would come back.”
The Exercise Science Journal Club is a way for students to engage with their peers while discussing their interests on the topic. Students can read articles, take notes, ask questions, and chat with others.
“[I hope] above all, we just grow up as students and as citizens in society, ”Uba said.
Whether it’s getting involved in major specific clubs or campus involvement, there are clubs for all students. There are even organizations on campus that aim to help support the student body.
BOOST Peer Coaching is one such organization, focused on peer coaching and personal, emotional and social well-being. Students can use BOOST as a resource for any difficulties they may have, or join if they want to be able to support their peers.
Nick Condon, final year student and BOOST member, discussed the transition from online to face-to-face.
“We had a lot more attendance at events and a lot more chances to bond with the students. “
Condon continued, “We are all very excited because there are a lot more programs we can do and things in person that we have postponed.”
BOOST didn’t let the online format ruin their minds. They tried to keep the students engaged with game nights, collaborations with other organizations, and general programs that could be done virtually.
The fall 2021 participation fair was a great comeback for students from all walks of life. New and former students have had the chance to reconnect with the clubs and organizations that bring campus to life. More information on all of the clubs and organizations on campus is available on CORE.