Campus leaders promote engagement at fair


Julia Graff

Students browse through tables hosted by campus and community organizations presenting involvement opportunities for new and returning students at the Involvement Fair Sept. 12.

Dan Miller, Staff Reporter

Wyman Mall outside the University Center was buzzing on Sept. 12 as students participated in the annual Involvement Fair

Over 150 student, campus and community organizations shared information about themselves and encouraged students to join. Career and Leadership Development sponsored the annual event.

One organization at the fair was Communicating Health in Practice (CHIP). It is a student organization that provides networking and involvement opportunities for students seeking health or communication-related careers after college. This was the organization’s second year at the fair.

“The fair is really good for our organization,” said Nicholette Davis, a representative of CHIP. “We also get a lot of volunteers for our community programs and other events here.”

Organizations of all kinds were represented. Some were there to help students with career development outside of school, while others offered sports and activities to break up the usual school grind.

The Billiards Club was also at the fair. The club was started in 2016 by Bryan Thommes, Brandon Allen and Ben Van Zeeland.

“It started as us just playing pool in the [University Center] by ourselves,” Thommes said. “Now, our meetings are big enough to fill all the tables in Warhawk Alley with players.”

Thommes believes that the Involvement Fair has a large, positive impact on their club.

“Our three busiest weeks are the ones right after the Fair,” said Thommes. “A lot of people are intimidated at first, but they relax when they see we’re just having fun and growing together.”

The Billiards Club offers students a break from school work and an opportunity to have fun while improving their skills and learning about the sport. Students play for free and can participate in tournaments against their peers.

Some community organizations made appearances at the fair as well. Discover Whitewater Series (DWS) half marathon, half marathon relay and 5K was looking for students interested in participating and volunteering in their upcoming race Sept. 23. DWS is a nonprofit organization started by the Greater Whitewater Committee in 2013.

DWS Director of Operations and recent UW-W graduate, Alexandria Salas was at the fair raising awareness for the race and looking of students interested in volunteering or running.

“We always get a lot of volunteers from the fair,” Salas said. “I’d say about 50 percent of our volunteers are students.”

The Involvement Fair offers students, new and returning, an opportunity to increase their engagement on campus, have fun, grow their resume and make networking connections. It can also be a positive starting point for new or transfer students who are unaware about what UW-W has to offer.

Being involved in the campus and community is a great way to encourage students to step outside of their comfort zone.

“(Getting involved) doesn’t just help a student on campus,” Salas said. “It helps that student grow as a person and prepare for life outside of a college classroom.”