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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Getting involved at the involvement fair

Students surrounding the tabling of various campus clubs and organizations in the Campus Recreation Center’s Wood Courts. Stony Brook, N.Y. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. GRACE SARGENT/THE STATESMAN

With a student population of over 25,000, it can be difficult for students to find a home for their passions and hobbies at Stony Brook University — making its Involvement Fair the perfect opportunity for students to join a club for their unique interests or take a stab at something new. 

On Jan. 26, the University’s Department of Student Engagement and Activities hosted the first part of its Involvement Fair for students in the Wood Courts of the Campus Recreation Center. Interested students visited the different tables that campus clubs and organizations had set up. 

This event featured sport, fraternity and sorority, performance, media, community service and graduate groups. The second day of this Involvement Fair will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 1-2:30 p.m., and will include cultural, honor society, leisure activity, activism and religious groups. During these two days, participating students can be exposed to the wide range of interests shared within their community.

Each table chose different means of advertising their club or organization to students passing by: some chose posters and large signs, while others opted for tangible trinkets and goodies such as candy and stickers. 

One of the tabled clubs there was the Photography Club, which was consistently surrounded by a large group of students as the club’s president, Jonathan Zhu, explained to them some of the benefits of joining. The club’s event coordinator, Nithilan Rajmohan, shared that their club often struggles to retain members throughout the year — making the Involvement Fair a great opportunity for recruitment as they prepare for the semester ahead. 

Rajmohan was pleased with the engagement their table experienced towards the end of the event, explaining that students at the event would “come in waves, so even when it’s an off wave, pretty soon we’ll start having multiple people at one time.” 

Most of the tables at the fair chose to put out sign-up sheets for the students interested in what they had seen.

A student writing down their email address to become involved with Stony Brook’s Photography Club. Stony Brook, N.Y. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. GRACE SARGENT/THE STATESMAN

Semester Involvement Fairs are held on campus, taking place outside during the fall semester and inside during the spring semester. Additionally, the first day of this event was originally planned to take place on Jan. 24, but a water outage in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center caused the event to take place on Jan. 26 instead. Due to the multiple factors at play for this semesterly event, some participating club representatives had differing opinions. 

Skylar Sena, a managing editor at The Statesman, explained her concern over having the event during its rain date. 

“The problem is people have class at this time — it’s not during Campus Life Time,” she said. 

The original plan allowed the fair to commence during Campus Life Time, a weekly period of time where no classes are scheduled and students are encouraged to participate in campus activities and events.

The Statesman’s Managing Editor Skylar Sena holding up a recent issue of the newspaper at the Involvement Fair. Stony Brook, N.Y. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. GRACE SARGENT/THE STATESMAN

Despite her initial concerns with the timing of this event, Sena was confident in its importance for both her interests as a representative and those of the participating students. 

“Even if someone is just walking by and they happen to catch a glimpse but don’t stop, at least they know who [we] are. Sometimes, especially for us — the media clubs — we don’t get the opportunity to expose ourselves to the greater campus community,” she said. “Events like this are so important, not only for the student body to find us but also for us to find them.” 

The sign-up sheet at Sena’s table gained many names of prospective members, much to her delight. 

At another table, Gwendolyn Loubier, President of The Humanology Project, admitted she appreciated the location of the fair. The Humanology Project seeks to use its online platform to stop the stigma surrounding mental and neurological illnesses. Loubier pointed out that since the event took place indoors, the students she interacted with were more invested in what they were seeing. 

“Instead of just walking around on campus, the people here today want to actually be here and chose to come to the event,” Loubier said.

The Humanology Project’s table included free stickers and QR codes for students to scan and become more involved. Stony Brook, New York. January 26th, 2024. GRACE SARGENT/THE STATESMAN

Despite varying opinions on the location and timing of the event, many of the representatives believed it was a successful day. Many of them were happy to have the opportunity to gain exposure from their fellow students and were excited to share what their organization had to offer. 

“An important part of college and an important part of learning how to enjoy college is finding your community — and being in a club is the easiest way to do that. You find amazing people and you have amazing opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have,” Sena said.

If you missed out on the first day of the Involvement Fair, be sure to stop by for day two on Jan. 31 at the same location!

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