On Tues. Aug. 31, The Office for Student Engagement and Leadership hosted this year’s Involvement Fair. This was one of the many month-long WOW (Week of Welcome) events for students.

The Quad was filled with students discovering the over 200 clubs and organizations at SRU. Whether it be Student Government Association (SGA), University Program Board (UPB), Psychology Club or something as simple as Chess Club, students were able to engage with and hopefully find something to peak their interest.

With it being so many student’s first time on campus, whether a freshman, sophomore or someone coming back from a year and a half at home, it is important for students to find a group they can connect with.

UPB is hoping to help students both new and returning to reconnect by providing entertainment and education for students at SRU.

Natalie Glenn, senior and president of UPB, talks about the transition from virtual to in-person regarding the organization’s participation and plans for the semester.

“It’s definitely interesting because having little to no interaction with students, because students, I think, were just so burnt out from Zoom.”

“Going in, everyone wants to do something,” Glenn said. “It’s definitely a little overwhelming at times. I think it’s gonna be a really hood semester. I feel like everyone’s excited, like they’re itching to do something.”

Director of University Events and junior student Carriebell Sampson highlights events to come in the next few weeks.

“We got this coming up, the drive-in movie theater that people will be looking forward to. We got a trip to the Pirates game.”

The Pirates game is currently sold out. The game is happening Sept. 10 and UPB will be providing transportation via bus, which will be picking students up at 3:30 p.m. at the Smith Student Center.

The drive-in movie is happening Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Swope Music Building Parking Lot. They will be playing “In The Heights,” and will have food and concessions provided.

Clubs and organizations on campus also give students a chance to get more involved with their majors. Clubs such as Psychology Club, Early Childhood Club, Recreational Therapy Club and many more give students these opportunities. A full list of these clubs and organizations can be found on CORE.

During the online semesters, students found a chance to begin new clubs. Senior Nick Uba founded the Exercise Science Journal Club last semester. This years involvement fair was the club’s debut to students on campus.

Uba explains the struggle of starting a new club while being virtual.

“So online it was difficult because it was hard to draw interest when you’re not seeing anybody,” Uba said. “We had to just send a bunch of emails out and hope people came back.”

Exercise Science Journal Club is a way for students to engage with their peers while discussing their interests on the topic. Students get to read articles, take notes, ask questions and discuss with others.

“[I hope] most of all we just grow as students and as citizens in society,” Uba said.

Whether it be getting involved with major-specific clubs or campus involvement, there are clubs for all students. There are even organizations on campus that are geared to helping support the student population.

BOOST Peer Coaching is one of those organizations, focusing on peer coaching and personal, emotional and social wellness. Students can use BOOST as a resource for any struggles they may be having, or join if they are interested in being able to support their peers.

Nick Condon, a senior student and member of BOOST discussed the transition from online to in-person.

“We’ve had a lot more participation in events and a lot more chances to connect with students.”

Condon continued, “We’re all really excited because there’s a lot more programming we get to do and things in person that we’ve been putting off.”

BOOST didn’t let the online format ruin their spirit. They tried to keep students engaged with game nights, collaborations with other organizations and general programs that could be done virtually.

The fall 2021 Involvement Fair was a strong welcome back for students across the board. New and returning students had a chance to reconnect with clubs and organizations that bring campus to life. More information about all clubs and organizations on campus are available on CORE.

Sarah is a sophomore with a double major in integrated marketing communication and professional writing. She has a passion for writing and she enjoys relaxing in her spare time. This is her second semester as The Rocket’s campus life editor, and she is so excited to be in person and connecting with everyone again.

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