Involvement fair creates community among students

More than 500 FMU students and many campus organizations gathered in the Smith University Center Commons (UC) for the semi- annual student involvement fair on Thursday, Sept. 3 to introduce new and continuing students to on- campus opportunities.

A total of 49 student organizations set up information tables in the UC to let students know what their organization has to offer.

Coordinator of Student Involvement Cody Simpson took an active role in reshaping the student involvement fair. In past years, the university would have some organizations in the gym and the rest in the commons area with some businesses present. However, this year all of the organizations were placed in the commons area.

“This year we have restructured the fair,” Simpson said. “It is in the university commons area. We have taken out profit businesses. We have put [the organizations] all in one area so that they know that they are a part of one community.”

FMU student leaders requested that the university move all organizations into one room because they thought having some clubs in another room created an inequality between the organizations.

In addition to moving all the organizations into the commons area, FMU put emphasis on making a home-like community for students living on campus and commuting to campus for classes.

According to Simpson, the university and student organizations wanted to give students an equal opportunity to meet the organizations on campus.

“We try to help them get acquainted and find some avenues they see themselves being a part of to help grow themselves,” Simpson said.

Each organization that had a table with posters and club information at the fair had at least two student members present to meet prospective members and talk to them about their organization.

“[The organization fair] is beneficial because it is another way for people to see our organization and for them to get a chance to ask any questions they have and for us to build our relationship[s],” Alex Smoot, Student Government Association (SGA) president said.

Many freshmen and transfer students visited the fair and found new interests in organizations on campus.

Connor Graham, a freshman biology major, attended the student involvement fair.

“I got to meet other people who were interested in what I was interested in,” Graham said. “Like the Biology Club: I got to meet other pre-med majors.

People who were older than me could tell me more about it. Everybody was like really friendly. I [did not] really expect that.”

Organizations that are new to campus such as the Green Club also had the opportunity to benefit from the student involvement fair. According to Kyle Stewart, president of the Green Club, 11 new students joined the club after talking to the students at their table.

“[The fair] gave us a snap shot of who cares about sustainability on campus,” Stewart said. “Without the fair, I doubt we would have anywhere near the number of students we currently have.”

Any student is allowed to go through the process to establish a new organization.

“To charter a new organization, students must submit a registration form,” Simpson said. “They have to include their constitution and have a faculty sponsor and seven members including officers.”

For more information on campus organizations or how to charter a new student organization, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 843-661-1182.