On Tuesday, the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership hosted its semi-annual Involvement Fair, allowing droves of students both insight into the various organizations and extracurricular activities on campus, as well as shelter from the brutal cold outside. Taking place on the third floor of the Smith Student Center, the Involvement Fair is a chance for the various clubs of Slippery Rock University to step outside of the boundaries of majors and garner attention from across the entire student body.
“It helps open the door to other majors that come in,” said Megan Stephenson, senior environmental science major and president of the Geography, Geology and the Environment Club. “We’re linked with the GGE Department, but we also welcome other majors to help kind of bring them to our major, or, even if you don’t wanna major, there are certificates or minors.”
A large variety of the clubs on display would be considered ancillary to their related majors, and it would naturally follow that their core membership would be comprised of students within that major.
“I got involved as soon as I came to Slippery Rock because it was the club for my major,” Stephenson continued. “From there I decided to get involved and kinda wanted to be a leader, so then I went on to become president.”
Though improving one’s core education is a common goal for some clubs, it’s not a unanimous one. A good number of clubs exist as a way for members to relax and bond with one another. Building social skills and forming relationships is just as much a part of the college experience as pursuing higher learning.
“This organization, I feel like it provides something different than a lot of other organizations that are specific to, like, majors or certain things like that,” explained president of the Black Action Society Taron Polk. “Especially for our African-American students, it’s kind of just a safe place where they can come and relax and feel a bit more comfortable.”
Polk, a junior marketing major, originally learned about the Black Action Society through the Involvement Fair himself. He began as a general body member before working his way up the ranks, becoming a public relations chair and, eventually, president of the organization.
“I definitely think this fair is the biggest stepping stone into joining this organization and many others. It’s that first impression where you first get to meet the people at that organization, and it kind of pushes you forward into actually wanting to join and participate in the events on campus.”
Though filled with the general pandemonium that would come with an overstuffed ballroom of college students, the Student Center portrayed a unique type of unity amongst the student body. Each handcrafted display sought to entice students into a particular club, but the true goal of the fair is to foster a community.
“I would say absolutely try it out,” encouraged secretary of the Musical Theatre Society Olivia Freed, “This is one of the best experiences and one of the best organizations that I’ve come across throughout my time here at Slippery Rock.”
Though Freed, a junior, originally came to Slippery Rock as a music major, she’s currently working toward a degree in early childhood and special education. She described MTS as a way for her to keep in touch with her passion for performance. Whether it be to form a support group, enrich your education, or express an artistic side, the Involvement Fair is the first step in, well, getting involved.
“I absolutely wouldn’t trade my experiences or the friendships for anything,” Freed happily concluded.