The Office of Student Engagement hosted its 2024 Spring Activities Fair last Friday, Jan. 26, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., inviting the Lewis & Clark community to engage with student clubs and organizations at the kickoff of the new semester.
Taking place inside Stamm Dining Hall, music played and brightly decorated booths encouraged students to take time at the end of their busy week to come check out what the campus has to offer. In their continued efforts to maintain student engagement during the second half of the academic year, the Office of Student Engagement organized the event to give clubs the chance to reach prospective members they might have missed in the fall.
Event attendance was good — all available booths were signed up for, although some clubs that had reserved a slot ended up being no-shows.
Unlike the fall version of the event, the Spring Activities Fair had a limited number of available tables for student organizations. In contrast to Fall’s Student Engagement Extravaganza (SEE) Fair, which takes place outside on the academic quad, the indoor setting places constraints on participation. Reservations were made available on the LC website, and priority was given to any groups formed in the Fall 2023 semester who were unable to attend the Fall SEE Fair.
The LC Harm Reduction Community Outreach Club was one such group that was formed after the SEE Fair. A member of the club, Sarah Smith ’25 found the opportunity and support from the Office of Student Engagement invaluable.
“It’s a good opportunity to catch up on things you didn’t get to do last year,” Smith said. “You get free resources, you can take whatever you want and we have QR codes for the email list and Instagram.”
The Spring Fair is a great way to spread the word about a club’s purpose and events.
“We just want people to know that we’re here and we have these resources for students,” Smith said. “I think it’s been an area that’s been lacking … really we just want you to know that we exist and they can reach out to us if they need support or resources.”
Director of Student Engagement and Special Events Tamara Ko also commented on the importance of the fair for new clubs.
“They get a chance to be visible,” Ko said. “And so I think it continues to maintain a good marketing opportunity.”
As a marketing opportunity, clubs have a lot of personal discretion in how they approach the event. Decorated tables and giveaways, including pamphlets, candy and small trinkets enticed students to visit booths and talk to the club representatives tabling.
Organizations focused around activities brought them in to engage attendees, such as the Gaming Society, which set up the board game Hibachi as an example of what prospective members could have the chance to get involved with.
The interpersonal aspect was cited by many attendees and tabling club representatives as one of the most positive parts of the Spring Activities Fair. Interacting face-to-face with different members of the community bred positive and unexpected connections.
“I’d say the best part is meeting different people,” President of the Christian Fellowship Will Powell, ’24 said. “I think it’s cool to meet people who I think aren’t interested in our club. (And then) they actually are and they’re from different backgrounds or have different stories.”
As the Spring semester swings into gear following its icy start, student groups look forward to refreshed interest and participation, thanks in no small part to the Spring Activities Fair.
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