By Hayden Sadler
Students gathered in Amitie Plaza outside of the Angel College Center on Sept. 9 to visit with clubs and organizations seeking to find ways of getting involved on campus.
The Involvement Fair offers students from all backgrounds the opportunity to find like-minded individuals. Such an opportunity allows students to network and make new friends related to their interests or majors. The Involvement Fair is meaningful to more than just the clubs on campus. It’s valuable to prospective members and faculty alike because it provides an opportunity to unify members of the SUNY Plattsburgh community based on their common interests. Whether it’s greek life, sports, or academic clubs among the numerous offered interests students are free to pursue whatever suits them. New students can expand not only their social lives, but also their professional lives through networking in major or career-related clubs.
Nicholas Rowehl is president of the Tennis Club. The Involvement Fair offered the club an important opportunity to expand and grow their club membership as the academic year began. Rowehl mentioned how the fair provided the club with 25 people interested in joining.
“We may be in a good position to have some tennis matches with other schools when before the fair we didn’t have enough members.”
Wesley Poe and Evan Zemach, both members of the Tennis club, were also in attendance. As students, the club fair meant a lot to them.
“It includes students,” Zemach said, in praise of the chances it gives students to find their niche.
Poe added; “It brings all college students together to try and get people to join our club.” Nicole Malatino, is also a member. To her, what makes the club fair important is one key thing.
“It helps students find their sense of belonging on campus and discover clubs and organizations which they may not be familiar with,” Malatino said. These opinions reflected by the Tennis Club ring true across many of the organizations on campus, and campus staff as well.
Among staff, the clubs offer an opportunity to not only form bonds with students but also to ensure involvement on campus. Tyler Hargraves is the Student Association Liaison at SUNY Plattsburgh, he is responsible for ensuring that the student association runs smoothly. As a result, Hargraves is also important in the running of clubs on campus. In regards to the recent club fairs, one held during opening weekend and another more recently on Friday, Sept. 8, Hargraves cited an apparent increase in student interest.
“The turnout was great,” Hargraves said, after mentioning that both fairs were quite busy. Many club officers had sign-up sheets lined with names of interested students, according to Hargraves. Similarly, Senator Jonanthony Tarlen had positive things to say about the Involvement Fair.
“The student fair is here to allow people to advertise their group and let people know more about it,” Tarlen is also an officer of the Biketopia club.
Involvement Fairs are now not the only way students can learn about clubs. This is where Cardinal Link, a new online platform that informs everyone about upcoming events and , allows students to plan and organize events.
Hargraves cited the value of understanding when and where clubs will be hosting events on campus.
“It’s helping us manage all the events in one place, it has a workflow for event management,” Hargraves said.
Importantly, steps like Cardinal Link in garnering student interest offer a chance at streamlining campus involvement.
As Hargraves described it, “It’s the one-stop shop for getting involved.”
The platform will have club events, schedules and ticketing, bringing together students in a more unified way. Cardinal Link and events such as the Student Involvement Fair provide perfect opportunities for students to become involved on campus. No matter the organization or group, there is something for almost anyone should they choose to pursue it. Campus involvement unites students at SUNY Plattsburgh and paves the way to a memorable college experience. With attempts to increase student involvement and simplify the process of finding interests and getting involved, there’s no time like the present to get out and find a calling on campus.