The annual Involvement Fair, which allows students to connect with various on-campus organizations and get involoved, took place on Shadow Lawn on Friday, Sept. 13.
With nearly 100 clubs and organizations set up in front of Wilson Hall, the event provided students with the opportunity to get involved by connecting with new people who share similar interests, and to find their niche on campus.
“Clubs and organizations take this opportunity to promote themselves to the students,” said Amy Bellina, Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations.
“It is an easy way for students to learn about the opportunities that are available to them,” she continued.
Bellina stressed the importance of becoming active on campus by utilizing the many student-run clubs and organizations at the University. “Being involved in clubs, organizations, and various activities gives students a chance to meet other students, feel more a part of the Monmouth community, build resume experience, develop relationships with people that may be mentors for them, learn more about a particular area of study, try something new, and to have fun,” she said.
Julia Fishern, a freshman student, said, “As someone brand new to campus, it is quite overwhelming how many clubs there are on campus. There’s something for everybody!”
In order to encourage new students to become excited about being active members of the Monmouth community, the Offices of Transition & Leadership Programs and Student Activities collaborate every year to hold Welcome Week and the Service & Leadership, Hawk Pride, Academics, Diversity, Organizations & Involvement, Wellness (S.H.A.D.O.W.) Program.
Katherine Browna, Coordinator of Transitions and Leadership Program, said, “We want that first week of the semester to have a lot of opportunities for students to get out of their residence hall or stay on-campus for more than just their classes so they can start to create connections and get used to their new environment.”
“The transition to college comes with a lot of challenges and opportunities so the goal is to make students feel welcome and get them engaged from day one,” she said.
Browna continued, “Events like the Hypnotist, Comedian, and Illusionist are great events opportunities to start creating shared memories with new friends.” Werlhens Francois, prodution Director for HawkTV and a senior communication student, also felt the Involvement Fair was a success. “HawkTV, WMCX, and the Verge had a lot of students sign up “
Another method that the University employs to encourage first year students to get involved is the S.H.A.D.O.W. Program, which Browna said, “Provides first-year students with the extra push they need to start exploring the wealth of options we have outside of the classroom on campus.”
Browna explained that encouraging students to attend at least event in each of the six categories, not just six random events, challenges them to go to things they otherwise might not have initially been drawn to.
“If a student attends at least one event in each of the six categories by the [Oct. 31] deadline, they automatically get a free sweatshirt and get the chance to win other big prizes like a $500 gift card to the bookstore, an Apple Watch, and other great prizes,” Browna said.
“Hopefully this helps some students find something they didn’t even know they were interested in or helps them gain a skill they’ll find helpful moving forward,” she said. “Getting involved on campus can seem like an overwhelming process sometimes because there is so much to do but [I hope] the S.H.A.D.O.W. Program streamlines that process for some.”
“All in all, the hope is that students find their place on campus and begin to see Monmouth as a home away from home,” Browna continued. “Getting involved is often how students find their friends, discover and explore their passions.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University