Robbie Elsbury Jr.
Hot late-summer temperatures didn’t stop people from coming out to the UW-Whitewater Involvement Fair on Wednesday, September 11. The fair took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wyman Mall between the James R. Connor University Center and Goodhue Hall. Over 100 clubs and campus organizations came out to recruit new members.
The event is organized by the Office of Career Leadership and Development’s Kim Clarksen and Holly Anderson. Recognized campus, student and community organizations ranging from academic honor societies, clubs, sports, and nonprofits attended the fair. For an organization to participate, it must be recognized by the university, and needs to have an Involvement Fair sign-up form filled in via Connect.
Organizations brought give-away items, small promos like keychains, candy and lanyards.
They also handed out informational items like brochures, email sign-up sheets, and posters complete with photos. Over the four hours of the event, attendance never dwindled.
“Typically student turn out is in the thousands,” said Anderson. “Most students come through the fair when they are walking to and from class, and sometimes whether they meant to attend or not.”
The event saw 2,000 people come out last year, and the number grows every semester. The fair is well received by the student body and is exciting for first-year students.
A sense of community is important to college campuses like UW-Whitewater. Students from all over Wisconsin, out of state and overseas come to achieve their academic goals. They are away from home so having things to do other than study is often paramount to their success.
Students look for ways to make new friends, and to feel more at home. One organization which has been part of the Whitewater community for over 40 years is the WELS Campus Ministry. The group’s first meeting was Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Hyland 1319. A WELS representative, Jon Rossman said they have a variety of activities to participate in. They have Bible study sessions and food at regular meetings, but also host special events throughout the semester which include various games, laser tag outings, dodgeball, alumni presentations, and missionary and community service work.
Rossman said the organization’s membership has stayed strong and that they see 15 to 20 new members join every semester.
One student, Andrew Forrer, a junior, was at the Involvement Fair looking at potential groups to join. Since this is his first semester at UW-Whitewater, he’s looking to join an organization to get a new perspective on campus life.
“Joining a club would be a good way to de-stress and spend my time in a meaningful, productive way,” said Forrer.
For many first semester students, the story is the same. They are looking for new friends and experiences, some of which they cannot get in their hometowns. UW-Whitewater’s variety of organizations from fraternities and sororities, to student government, to just for fun after class clubs, provide a meaningful community atmosphere for the student body.
The next Involvement Fair will be held at the start of the spring semester in January 2020. For more information about student organizations on campus, students should contact the Involvement Office at [email protected] or call 262-472-1471.