Involvement Fair Fosters Student Engagement on Campus
As the first week of classes wrapped up, students gathered for a huge display of the backbone of the University's social culture: an involvement fair featuring the University's recognized student organizations (RSOs).
September 14, 2023
By Anchal Bhatia '24 MBA
To promote the aim, motive, and idea behind the student clubs on campus, the involvement fair was held to provide Chargers with an opportunity to learn about how to participate in clubs and activities.
The Fall involvement fair included a display of many of the University's RSOs, which graduate and undergraduate students run to promote a particular hobby, interest, culture, or professional field. With more than 150 RSOs currently on campus, new and returning students are provided a vast choice to be part of any club they wish to learn from.
The involvement fair was a major success mainly because of the curiosity showcased by the new students joining the University this fall. Indeed, every RSO has something to teach its members, making participation interesting. The University's students who run the RSOs are highly dedicated individuals who inspire students representing a variety of courses, cultures, and countries to join their respective organizations.
RSO leaders, executive members, and committee staff are determined to display their best efforts to run their clubs by constantly promoting them all over the campus and using social media. They also work to plan extracurricular activities and enhance the unity among the student groups all over the campus.
Dorothy Classen, international student life adviser for the Office of Graduate and Student Life (OGISL), believes that involvement fairs are a great opportunity for every student. She also observed that students were highly engaged at the involvement fair and asked questions at every table they stopped at.
"I love how accessible the involvement fair was, as even if someone missed the digital flyers, they could still stop by at the Maxcy Quad," she said. "Moreover, it was beautiful weather that day, and I loved stepping out of the office and interacting with more domestic undergraduates, as our office, the OGISL, mainly works with the graduate and international students."
Classen was elated to welcome many international and domestic students this fall and was happy to encourage them to join the RSOs of their choice during their time as Chargers.
The involvement fair comprised various RSOs, such as academics, self-care and mental well-being, and leadership. One of the sports RSOs, the Badminton Club, a recent addition to the University of New Haven, witnessed many enthusiasts joining them. Rydham Bhanushali '24 MBA, the social media representative for the Badminton Club, expressed her thoughts by calling the involvement fair a "huge success," mainly because of the engagement her club received. She was happy to see the students' genuine interest in badminton and was excited to interact with a new set of students. She said the involvement fair was a great way to promote the Badminton Club.
"We did not expect so many people to show up and were very happy to see their interest in this sport," she said. "Unfortunately, not everyone could join us due to their clashes with class timings or other conflicts, but we were very happy to see people being interested in our club."
'Empower students to discover their goals'
The Indian Student Council (ISC) is one of the largest groups of international students on campus and is proactive in teaching about the Indian culture at the University of New Haven. Ishmeet Malhotra '24 M.S., vice president of the ISC, was at the involvement fair along with her council E-board and fellow members. Malhotra believes that one of the best things about the involvement fair was seeing how everyone decorated their tables to represent their organizations.
This practice encouraged more students to gain a visual look at the clubs they would have liked to step into, which also makes a great way of building engagement and communication. According to Malhotra's observation, students were enthusiastic about joining various RSOs, a positive outcome of the involvement fair.
"ISC's participation in the fair, along with other RSOs, helped raise awareness about our council's cultural and social aspects and attracted new members to be part of our community," said Malhotra.
Encouraging more students to engage in comprehensive business learning and creating a safe space for female business leaders, the Women in Business Club was among the number of RSOs present at the involvement fair. Abigail Fleisig '23, '25 MBA, diversity, equity, and inclusion committee head for the Women in Business Club, said the fair was a great success.
Although it was her first time tabling, she was confident about managing the duties and networking with students. She was also happy to see the number of visitors and responses she received at the fair. She says the responses from the students "exceeded her expectations."
The WiB club members were also very happy when they saw students attend the fair and later show up at their Meet and Greet on the following week. Fleisig considers these fairs beneficial as they help raise awareness about the University's RSO culture, which is great.
"The Women in Business Club is open to students of all genders, majors, and academic levels," said Flesig. "Our mission is to help develop the professional skills of our members and provide them with the knowledge they need to succeed in their careers. We strive to become a networking catalyst that can break down racial, cultural, and personal barriers no matter our members' identities. The Women in Business Club aims to empower students to discover their goals, unlock their potential, and provide the resources they need to navigate the workforce and positively influence our society and communities."
'Create good memories'
Dancing their way through more applications, the Illuminate Dance Club was another organization present at the involvement fair, attracting new students to join them. Mallory Rothweiler '24, president of Illuminate Dance Club, was happy to see the engagement at the involvement fair. She says this fair was a great way for newer students to know more about the student clubs available to them at the University.
Her club is happy to welcome students with even basic experience of Jazz/Lyrical/Tap dance forms for the auditions and be part of IDC.
Destiny Ray, president of PRIDE, believes this was the most attended fair since she joined the University.
"It was nice to see a big turnout, especially for the multicultural clubs," said Ray.
Added Makayla Serrette '26, sergeant-at-arms for PRIDE, "It was great to see a big population of LGBTQ+ people and allies. They were excited when they saw the flags, stickers, and pillows we were handing out. Most students expressed how happy they were to see our club and how welcoming we were since some said they didn't have a PRIDE club in high school."
Secretary of the PRIDE, AJ Stack '25, was equally happy with the results witnessed on-campus at the involvement fair, believing such fairs are the best way to step into an extracurricular environment and learn more about communities, cultures, and people.
Offering friendly advice, Stack said, "College can be scary, but the best way to make the most out of it is to get involved. As a student, you will learn much about yourself and create good memories once you engage more."
Anchal Bhatia '24 MBA is a candidate in the MBA program at the University of New Haven.