Involvement fair brings organizations together

Sept. 17, 2014

By Kimberly Wethal

 

All UW-Whitewater students had to do in order to find their passion was walk outside.

The Student Involvement Fair, held by Career & Leadership Development, brought together around 170 organizations whose tables lined the Wyman Mall outside of the University Center.

Katie Barbour, who oversees several aspects of the Student Involvement Office as a graduate assistant, said this year’s fair was a “huge success” as it was a “busy place and sidewalks were full.”

“The Involvement Fair is a casual setting for students to get connected with organizations, clubs and UW-Whitewater departments that have involvement opportunities for students,” Barbour said.

The Student Involvement Office aims at recruiting freshmen to organizations, but encourage upperclassmen to get involved.

“Many times students do not realize the value of involvement until they are upperclassmen or are interested in pursuing opportunities that will increase their employability once they graduate,” Barbour said.

The planning process for the fair is a two-step process and begins in late spring as rental agreements and requests are submitted, and ends the Friday before the fair, which is the deadline for organizations to sign up.

The two main differences the fair saw this year in comparison to last’s is the addition of a photo contest for fairgoers and an increased reach to students as Student Involvement interns roamed the fair, giving assistance and pointing people in the right direction.

The Student Involvement Fair not only presented new students a chance to get involved and more rooted in the campus community, but gave new organizations a chance to start up and recruit their first members.

Senior Sarah Bregant, one of the founders of the Whitewater branch of  the American Association of University Women, said how important it was the organization made an appearance at the fair.

“It’s a national organization, but this is the first year it’s been on UW-Whitewater’s campus,” Bregant said. “Especially as a new organization, this is the time to get people who are eager to get involved and freshman who are new to campus looking to find their niché, and we’re able to reach out to them at this fair and get them interested.”

It took grad student Kathryn Gnadt “literally one minute” to find an organization that she wanted to join after walking out the UC doors.

“My roommate wanted to go,” Gnadt said. “It seems like there’s a lot of interesting clubs and there’s a couple that I’ll join to get more involved in on campus other than just going to class every day.”

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