The Get Involved Fair hosted a variety of clubs and organizations Wednesday in the University of Idaho Commons to encourage students to get out of their comfort zones and dive into their interests.
Student leadership coordinators Linzy Bonner, Taylor Caldwell and Lynsie Clott hosted the event through the Department of Student Involvement (DSI). Free snacks, buttons and a variety of other items were available to all visitors.
Loud music filled the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) as students shared their thoughts, inquiries and interests with others.
Thirty booths were set up between the second and main floor of the Commons with some in the Whitewater Room as well. Each booth had anywhere from one to six members who volunteered to be part of the event and promote participation.
Bonner said it can be hard for students to join clubs because they are either taken over by school workloads or overloaded with information about other ongoing events.
“I have noticed that students who are more involved go to class more often, have higher grades and overall stay in school longer,” Bonner said. “I have made friends and connections that I wouldn’t have without the clubs I am a part of as one thing just leads to another.”
DSI is piloting a new series called “Cocoa, Coffee, and Clubs: Motivating Members” to offer insight on leadership qualities for new and existing clubs. Experts and other student club leaders and members will meet for a “support group” setting.
The group had their first meeting in January and have planned to meet once a month from now on, Caldwell said.
Kiara Hauck, a member of the Moscow Manticores Quidditch team, said some people are skeptical of joining the club, while others are much more excited.
The Get Involved Fair has a large impact, and there needs to be emphasis on the diverse options this campus has, Hauck said.
“Without this club, I would just be sitting in my room,” Hauck said. “I love that I get to meet people with similar interests and that I’ve met some of my good friends too.”
The Quidditch team practices every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Guy Wicks Field. Currently, the team has about 12 members and is actively looking for more, allowing anyone to join in or simply spectate their practice.
There are currently 63 clubs on campus that focus on anything from pre-med and biology to feminism and planned parenthood. The DSI website has a calendar that lists hundreds of showcased events to keep students involved.
“There has been consistent club growth every year, but it does take a lot of hard work to continue recruiting people,” Bonner said. “So far we have had all positive feedback and the goal is always to get people and keep them.”
*Linzy Bonner is also the station manager of KUOI.
Allison Spain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org