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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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    Stony Brook Students Flock To SAC Plaza For Involvement Fair

    The academic mall and Student Activity Center (SAC) plaza was filled with Stony Brook students during campus lifetime on Wednesday scouring the tables extending from the bus loop to the library entrance facing the mall in search of new campus clubs and organizations to join. There was a wide variety of student organizations represented, ranging from Greek life, club sports, and ethnic groups to political associations, religious organizations and special interest groups. Each and every group had its own means of attracting traffic to their table – fliers and free food, donning eccentric and unique outfits, displaying trophies, plaques, and photographs of club participating in past events. Some organizations, such as the Environmental Club, even went as far as to create their own reusable banners. Since Sept. 17 is Constitution Day, some members of College Republicans such as sophomores Jason Schaeffer and Gaby Jusino handed out Pocket Constitutions. ‘We wish to educate students and encourage them to speak up about their beliefs,’ said Jusino. Schaeffer, added that the Involvement Fair is an excellent opportunity to provide students with information about different organizations on campus. The newest students on campus were in awe at the large number of activities available. Some students could be overheard saying things such as ‘Wow! There’s really a lot of clubs here!’ or ‘There’s a rugby team? Cool!’ The freshmen and sophomores are the prime audience sought by the clubs, although there are also upperclassmen that seek to get more involved. ‘Lots of girls have stopped by our table,’ said senior Jessica Smith, a sister of the national sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. ‘Mostly freshmen so far, although there were also a lot of sophomores and even some juniors. The best part is that it’s a great way to meet people. You’ll always have somebody to call if you become involved in this very big university.’ Some freshmen agree that the Involvement Fair is an excellent way to get students acquainted with campus life, like marine sciences major Jaime Wright. ‘I’ve seen a lot of clubs that look interesting,’ she said. ‘I like that there’s free food and other items, and the fliers are great. I tend to be shy about talking to people I don’t know, but with fliers I can get all the information I need and then attend meetings.’ Although many people tend to discard fliers without reading them, there are as many who peruse them and take advantage of the information they have to offer. Biology major and senior Anna Li, who was distributing fliers for International Student Volunteers, observed that ‘It’s an easy way to advertise without walking all over campus posting on public bulletin boards.’ Students could also find out about the honor societies on campus. Diana Melo, event coordinator for the pre-health honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, said, ‘people like joining honor societies because they know that it is good for the resume. Being involved in good things shows that you’re serious about your work.’ She added that honor societies provide many job opportunities and augments one’s chance of being hired. One aspect of the Involvement Fair that kept students entertained even after visiting the tables was the performance of various musical groups on campus. Gloria Omari, the secretary of the Stony Brook Gospel Choir and among those who sang during the fair, said, ‘People love music. They get inspired when they hear singing, and a group singing well is the ultimate manifestation of club unity. I hope that we will see some new members and that students will get to know God.’ Aside from singing, there were also dance and instrumental numbers. Although many students, such as sophomore Kellie McEvoy, a member of the women’s rugby team, learn of activities through the word of mouth and friends, it is impossible to know about every single organization on campus. ‘I like that we can attain a large mailing list at this event, and get word out about our games, such as our first one on Sunday the 21st, as well as past successes.’ She indicated the two trophies that the team won last year on the team’s table as proof. ‘People enjoy being part of great accomplishments.’ Many of the upperclassmen that now run the clubs first learned of them through the Involvement Fair. Senior James Vartholomeos, the president of the Artemis Hellenic Student Association, a club celebrating Greek culture, joined his first year here and has been successfully recruiting new students ever since. ‘I made lots of great friends here who share my passion for the Greek heritage and we have had lots of great social events,’ said the political science major. According to Vartholomeos, the clubs mailing list is several pages long. The list rested near a typical Greek dish of cheese and crackers. A stark contrast to the candy most tables distributed. Although most clubs dumped a bag of candy on the table, the Global Studies Council found a way to really get the attention of the fairgoers – Global Jeopardy. ‘The candy hooks students into coming to our table, and then they play a Jeopardy round featuring questions related to the culture of various countries,’ explained the Council’s secretary Michael Won. ‘By then, we’ve got their attention and we can then tell them about our community service projects such as when we have various schools bring their kids to the dorms to go trick-or-treating on October 29th.’ The involvement fair allows students to interact with club officers and members directly. ‘I think it’s great,’ remarked senior Pia Castillo, a member of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) who studies Spanish as well as Latin-American and Caribbean culture. ‘There’s a lot of people who don’t even know these clubs exist, and it’s a great chance to advertise major events such as our picnic.’ Won agreed, ‘I was very happy as a freshman to get involved on campus through this fair. It helped me make friends with similar interests.’

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