Between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., West Chester University’s Academic Quad bustled with clubs and service organizations from all over campus on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Despite the blistering, heat, hundreds of students came out to seek new opportunities for extra-curricular involvement on campus. Situated between the Main and Recitation Halls, 203 organizations were represented at the fair. “Special Interest” organizations such as Creative Writing Club, Anime Club and Art Club were included among the clubs, as well as social fraternities and sororities such as Alpha Phi Omega and Alpha Sigma Tau. Social equity and diversity organizations included Black Men United and the Black Students Union. Other organizations included sports clubs, musical organizations, and religious and political activism clubs. In the past, West Chester University has hosted the Involvement Fair every spring and fall.
Club organizations must apply for registration to advertise at the Involvement Fair ahead of time. Each organization was responsible for providing sign-in sheets, advertising materials and any additional items to give to potential members. Some organizations had tents to shield them from the sun. The Involvement Fair has been a source of new recruits for the organizations on campus. Each year, it is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), who sponsors the event by paying for the tables and tents that the organizations may use.
“It’s important to have a time where all clubs can come together to promote learning outside of the class,” third-year Benjamin Popp, who majors in history and serves as SGA treasurer, said. “It’s a time for organizations to come together.”
He asserted the fair as being beneficial to freshmen and transfer-students who may not be aware of the variety of opportunities offered on campus.
He openly discussed his experience with the Involvement Fair as a sophomore the previous year. He had primarily focused on his academics prior to the fair and was not involved with any organizations until finding the table which organized SGA. “I got very excited about joining SGA,” he said, “especially after attending the first meeting…I needed that time of going through the Involvement Fair,” He stated many organizations existed which he had not been aware of prior to visiting. Overall, he views student organizations as “out of class learning experiences.”
Jesse Isadore, a senior English major at West Chester University, spent time at the Involvement Fair promoting English Club to students on the Academic Quad. He currently serves as English club’s Treasurer. “It was hot,” he noted. The heat index reached the high 90s by midday on Wednesday. “It was a good opportunity for new students to join the club and gain awareness of our organization. Older clubs get more spread through word of mouth. New clubs like Creative Writing Club needs the bump of people stumbling upon it.”
A student who wishes to be identified as Adam is a freshman English major and described the fair as “chaos.” “It had the same kind of mental anguish reminiscent of a buffet in which you know you can’t consume the entire platter. I felt like it was an in-person version of the nosy advertising that goes on online…I’m sampling them out and checking out different meetings,” he said. Adam also noted he took interest in The Quad through the fair and wants to write for the Op-Ed section.
For more information on organization involvement, students are encouraged to contact the Student Government Association. Their office is located in Sykes 213. The next Involvement Fair will be in the beginning of the spring semester.
Sam Walsh is a third-year student majoring in special education and English with a minor in autism studies. SW850037@wcupa.edu.