Involvement ‘Faired’ In No One’s Favor

The University held its annual Involvement Fair during the first weekend of school with the intentions of helping the on-campus clubs recruit new members and for the students to become more involved.

The event was given three main alterations from previous years: Instead of being held on a Wednesday, it was held on a Friday; instead of being held during the "meetings" time block, it was held from 4-6; and finally, the fair was moved from outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center to the front of the Guggenheim library.

While The Outlook staff appreciates the effort to make the event bigger and better, such as the addition of free food, we feel the time and date caused an unwanted effect on the various clubs' recruitment.

The Outlook itself is used to recruiting an average of 100 new members via this event. This year, The Outlook gained less than 40 interested members. As The Outlook staff began to discuss the event with other clubs' executive board members, we noticed that our numbers were not the only ones which significantly decreased from years past as well.

Our staff believes that many of the freshmen, who are usually the majority of the attendees at the Involvement Fair, went home for the weekend. It is understandable that after being away from their home for nearly a week, perhaps the longest any of them have been away without their parents, they would want to make a trip home.

Besides the fact most students may have travelled home for the weekend, the event was also held after classes on the library lawn. The time also caused trouble for those who are commuters and upperclassmen. By that point on a Friday, many commuters and upperclassman would have left campus.

The Involvement Fair in past years has been held in the middle of the day, in the center of the campus. This year, there was a lack of foot traffic that past years had brought. Despite the fact The Outlook staff liked the event being held on the library lawn thus allowing more space, the staff also feels this was one of the main reasons clubs saw a drop in signups. Yes, it was a rather convenient location if an attendee was living on the residential side of campus.

Unfortunately, none of The Outlook's executive board live on campus. As mentioned amongst the campus commuters on countless measures, parking is a problem.

Thus, if those commuters and upperclassmen did wish to return to campus for the event, they would have ran into a parking problem since there are even fewer spots for commuters on the residential side of campus.

Also, not having the fair across from the Student Center like it has been in other years created an issue since all students cross the Student Center at one point in their day.

The Outlook staff ran into an issue with the addition of live music. Though the music created a lively atmosphere, it was very difficult for the tables near the music to intrigue students to join their respective clubs.

The final issue The Outlook had trouble understanding was why the Involvement Fair was held at the very beginning of the school year. It usually is held the second or third week of school, not the first week. If the goal was to allow clubs to recruit early in the semester, the goal was not achieved.

It was so soon after classes started that students were still getting situated, not to mention many students want to enjoy the beach while the weather is still nice.

It really felt like people were scrambling to get their class schedule into their head, gather their supplies and then go to the Involvement Fair on top of it all; it was too much for people, especially the freshman, to handle at one time.