Involvement Fair Displays 57 Clubs

Approximately 300 students gathered in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC) to learn about the clubs and organizations at the University during the Involvement Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The Office of Student Activities and Student Center Operations coordinates the Involvement Fair every fall semester for students to learn more about student clubs, groups, and chapters. According to Megan McGowan, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations, there were 75 clubs present during this year’s fair.

Amy Bellina, who has been the Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations for the past 19 years, said, “[The Involvement Fair] was very successful, particularly when we are able to do it outside on a beautiful day. Less people seem to attend if we have to move it inside.”

The Involvement Fair is offered to all recognized student clubs, organizations and any interest groups currently in the middle of the Student Government Association (SGA) recognition process. “There are Approximately 90 SGA recognized clubs and organizations,” said Bellina. “I say approximately because the number changes each semester as some groups don’t return and other interest groups gain approval to become a club.”

Among the many organizations who hoped to recruit new members were the University’s Pep Band, 5678 Dance Club,The Verge,WMCX 88.9 FM, Catholic Campus Ministry, Relay for Life Committee, American Marketing Association, Army ROTC, Boom Roasted Productions, and the Outdoors Club.

Sophomore English and theater major, Megan Roberts advocated Boom Roasted Productions, a theater organization during the fair. “I encourage students to get involved and make friends, especially if you tend to be a shy person. Joining a club gives you so many opportunities to open up.”

President Paul R. Brown made an appearance during the Involvement Fair where he interacted with all of the students hoping to get involved with everything that campus has to offer.

“Clubs also give you that incentive to know what is going on around campus, especially if you live off-campus,” Roberts added. “People can feel isolated by not living where majority of students reside, so joining a club definitely gives you that extra push to stay involved.”

The Involvement Fair was promoted through the fall events calendar created by the Student Activities Board (SAB) as well as through an email from SAB.

The event is essentially coordinated by McGowan; she orders tables from facilities management and reserves a site and a rain site approximately a semester in advance.

Joe Morrell, freshman political science major explained that he was not involved in high school, but he is “determined to change that here at Monmouth by doing as much as possible.” He attended the Involvement Fair because it gave him an opportunity to see what the University had to offer. Morrell signed up for Outdoors Club, Model UN, and Italian Club while attending the fair.

In the spring, the Office of Student Activities and Student Center Operations conducts an interest survey with new students to “connect them with clubs and organizations,” as stated by the University website.

The Involvement Fair was part of “The S.H.A.D.O.W. Program,” which encourages first year students to attend events of six categories: service and leadership, hawk pride, academic resources, diversity, organizations and involvement, and wellness. First year students who attend these events are entered into a prize drawing at the end of the semester.

Bellina stressed how important it is to get involved in and around campus. Not only does it help students meet new people and explore new things, it also helps them build their resumes and leadership skills.

“[Getting involved helps you] gain experience in your major field of study, offers opportunity for experience you can place on a resume, makes you feel more like a member of the Monmouth community, and gets you involved in what is happening on campus because your group will be doing activities and programs,” Bellina said.