A Recap of the Spring Involvement Fair

The Office of Student Engagement held a Spring Involvement Fair in the Ocean First Bank Center for new and current students on Wednesday, Jan. 25, marking the first time Monmouth has hosted an Involvement Fair in the spring.

The fall semester’s Involvement Fair takes place within the first week of classes, but those who may start in the spring semester never really get the chance to be reintroduced to all the clubs and organizations that Monmouth has to offer.

Getting involved on campus helps students meet new people, develop relationship with likeminded individuals, and explore interests.

Nicole Lowden, Associate Director of Student Engagement for Transitions and Leadership, said, “Campus involvement is so important to the student experience. Having co-curricular involvement fosters students’ sense of belonging, which improves their overall college experience.”

Being a part of a club or organization has many benefits. Clubs allow you to become a part of an even bigger community and engage with students you have not crossed paths with. Being with likeminded students helps students open up, share stories, and engage in social situations. Being in a club also lets ideas shine through and work towards a bigger project on campus.

For those more reserved, joining a club or organization can be nerve-wracking.

Vaughn Clay, Ed.D., Director of Student Engagement, said, “Every year, many new and returning students make the decision to join a club or organization. However, we also know that some students may be nervous or a bit apprehensive about getting involved with a club, especially when they may not know anyone.”

Clay explained, “In that case, I always suggest starting small. If the student happens to have a friend who is already a member, consider talking to them about the group or tagging along with the friend the next time the club is hosting a meeting. If a student is apprehensive about making the commitment of joining a club, they can always just attend an event, where applicable, to get a feel for what the club does.”

The Spring Involvement Fair was also a great opportunity for spring transfer students to get acclimated to the University.

Shannon Smith, a senior graphic design student, said, “When I first took a tour of Monmouth when considering transferring in Spring 2021, I asked my tour guide about getting involved and was informed I wouldn’t be able to attend an involvement fair until the fall semester. Especially beginning my time at Monmouth during the pandemic, I didn’t have many resources or people to go to on how to get involved and a lot of searching had to be done myself.”

Smith continued, “I think it’s very special for transfer students joining Monmouth this semester to be able to have this resource and not have to wait for when they are already involved in a full class load and don’t even have the time to discuss being a part of MU in that capacity.”

Getting involved on campus can also help a student practice self-care. At times, academics can be stressful, and students may solely focus on their studies. The balance between academics and clubs is essential during college.

If you are looking for a club that incorporates academics, joining these types of clubs, like the Pre-Vet Club or the History and Anthropology Club, supports that desire.

Lindsey Allen, a junior elementary education and teacher of student with disabilities student, said, “Being involved on campus is a crucial part to the whole college experience, especially at Monmouth. Being in a sorority, numerous clubs and playing on the MU volleyball team has given me a sense of community and belonging. It allowed me to make new lifelong friends and step away from my hectic academic schedule. It is also important professionally to make outside connections because it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.”

With over 130 clubs, there is a second home for any student that wishes to be a part of something bigger. If you could not attend the Involvement Fair, the Office of Student Engagement is always there to help. They can provide contact information for the club officers and ways to stay connected. Clubs are consistently looking for new members and want to be on this journey with you.