Emily Seppelt – Staff Writer
This week on Tuesday students could be found milling about Eckmann Mall on a typical autumn evening as the annual involvement fair took place. Aimed at getting students involved on campus, many student organizations could be found tabling and advertising their activities. Before the event took place each student organization was required to register with the Campus Activities Office to reserve a table.
The first semi-normal fall involvement fair since 2019, new and returning students alike were eager and out in numbers looking to get involved. Senior Solveig Stafford, Co-president of the student org KGSM Radio alongside fellow Senior Avery Cameron-Laffey reported a high attendance at the event. “Based on our turnout at the involvement fair, I feel that our org has the opportunity now to have a boom this year,” Stafford said.
Senior Deleany Bluhm, Vice President of the student org IGNITE, which according to Bluhm aims to raise political ambitions among young women agreed with Stafford’s sentiment. “This year feels better than ever in terms of member engagement and turnout, and we haven’t even had our first meeting,” Bluhm said.
Senior Emily Falk, Co-president of the organization Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF) echoed these thoughts as well. “I feel like there’s a much larger turnout this year, because of how accessible the involvement fair is. Having it online last year made it harder to connect to students”, Falk said.
Student organizations also expressed excitement about the return to somewhat normal operations for student orgs since the start of COVID-19. According to current COVID-19 guidelines, student orgs are no longer required to social distance and there are no limits on the number of people that can gather in a meeting.
Bluhm shared that the new COVID-19 guidelines have eased stress levels for IGNITE. “I feel that COVID definitely had an impact on engagement last year. I hope that student involvement this year makes our campus feel like a community after being isolated because of COVID-19,” Bluhm said.
Last year was the organization’s first year which made it difficult for recruitment and organizing events. Bluhm as well as her colleague President of IGNITE Senior Regina Olono Vidales, “are hoping to get this org up and running smoothly as last year was our first year and it was hard to stay engaging to our members,” Bluhm said.
Stafford also shared hope for the new school year. “Last year it was nearly impossible to do what we needed to do because of COVID-19, but things are looking up this year. The aim of our org is for students to have an outlet for creative expression, get experience working with basic recording and broadcasting equipment, and to enjoy great music and content with friends,” Stafford said.
KGSM Radio’s 100th Anniversary is also this year, and Stafford said that this will be their focus on the year. “One main hope for KGSM this year is to have an ongoing celebration of our 100 year anniversary through our shows and events. KGSM started in 1922, so we really want to honor that legacy and set the club up for future success,” Stafford said.
The Involvement Fair by many’s standards would be called a resounding success. Many on campus are eager to get the year started for student organizations and events.