OSI Hosts Indoor Fall Student Involvement Fair

Samantha Wotring, Assistant News Editor

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI), formerly referred to as the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI), put on the biannual Student Involvement Fair on Thursday, Sept. 8. The Involvement Fair usually occurs once in the beginning of the Fall semester and again at the start of the Spring semester. This year, due to weather concerns, the fair took place in Huntington Gymnasium rather than on the academic quad. The fair allows for first-years, transfers and returning students to see most of the clubs and groups present on Colgate’s campus and sign up for the ones they’re interested in. This makes it easier to digest all the options on campus for activities that go beyond academics — this year, 112 organizations were represented. 

Leigh-Ann Wenzel, Assistant Director of the Office of Student Involvement, talked about the process of organizing and setting up for the Involvement Fair. 

“We work with an outside company who provides the tables and chairs, and the Office of Student Involvement and the Student Government Association collaborate to form the list of permitted organizations,” Wenzel said. “The only major changes were the last minute shift into Huntington Gym and the Involvement Fair Cheat Sheets which gave students a strategic way to map out how to find organizations that might interest them.”

Sophomore Caroline Collins, co-captain of the Colgate Dance Team, had her booth set up alongside the other dance groups present on campus. While many clubs on campus are open to everyone in the student body, Colgate Dance Team, along with some of the other performance groups, holds tryouts. Collins said she was pleased with the turnout from the fair, which ended with about 40 people signing up. 

“Colgate Dance team is the group of dancers that perform at halftime shows for the football and basketball teams,” Collins explained. “I think [the involvement fair] definitely does help us reach a […] larger […] audience.”

Collins also spoke about the process of signing up for and preparing for the club fair itself.

“We [had] to get registered beforehand. […] And also you have to have student leadership training before you can actually be registered as a club,” Collins said. “So we had to have two members go to a budget training system and we had to have two members go to the leadership training system, and then basically we just had to email them and let them know we wanted to have a table.”

Collins then worked on her booth for the fair, adding merchandise and Colgate Dance Team gear hoping to entice students to visit.

“It was pretty easy. We had a few things left over from last year. […] We just kind of set up our booth, […] made it a little more aesthetically pleasing and just created something that would allure everyone. At least that’s what we attempted,” Collins said.

Sophomore Mikayla Cairns attended the Involvement Fair this year in addition to her first year on campus last year.

“I definitely think having the club fair and having those resources in one place helps [first-years] a lot so they don’t have to search around,” Cairns said, although she wished that the fair could have taken place on the academic quad as usual. “They moved it to Huntington because it was supposed to be rainy and then it ended up being sunny and everyone was crowded inside for no reason.”

Although the fair this year ended up running slightly differently than in years past, students were still able to find new clubs to join and engage with organizations which they didn’t know existed before.