Clubs, organizations meet new members

Student+Media+Association+is+an+organization+that+focuses+on+media-related+issues+and+networking.+

Photo by: Kyle Graham

Student Media Association is an organization that focuses on media-related issues and networking.

Emily Wachter & JaConna Brooker, Staff Writers

FMU hosted its annual Student Activities Fair to showcase the various student clubs and organizations on campus.

At the beginning of each academic year, members of student organizations gather in the Smith University Center commons to advertise their organizations to other students. Organizations that planned to attend the activities fair reserved a table, and some had posters, boards and presentations on display for attendees to learn about their organizations.

According to Michael Barfield, student life ombudsman, FMU currently has approximately 60 student organizations. Fifty of these organizations were present with tables at the activities fair.

The organizations present included various honor societies, Greek life organizations, student leadership organizations and many different clubs.

While many of these clubs and organizations have had a large presence at FMU for years, Barfield said that the number of students involved in student organizations overall has increased this academic year. In addition to an overall growth in student involvement, Barfield said that there were two new clubs represented at the activities fair this year.

“In a two-week span, the organizations have grown, and there have been two more added organizations,” Barfield said.

In addition to the newly-formed organizations, a former organization, the Student Media Association (SMA), reemerged this semester.

Erika Gaymon, junior political science major and member of SMA, said that the organization has been a part of FMU student organizations but recently experienced a short hiatus.

“Student Media Association has been around for at least a year,” Gaymon said. “It stopped for a while due to changes with advisors, but we picked it back up last spring.”

Gaymon also said that she hopes SMA grows as an organization, continues to gain more members as the semester goes on and holds more off-campus events and trips.

The Young, Gifted and Blessed choir (YGB), an organization that has been present at FMU for 15 years, was also represented at the Student Activities Fair.

Kristen Belton, vice president of YGB, said that the organization has undergone a few changes in recent years.

“When I got here as a freshman, YGB was already established and went through a name change,” Belton said. “They were Young, Gifted and Black, but now we’re Young, Gifted and Blessed.”

According to Belton, students interested in YGB do not necessarily have to sing. The organization accepts all students, and members often feel as if the organization is like a family on campus.

One of the new organizations at FMU is the International Domestic Student Ambassadors (IDSA). According to Kylie Cracknell, president of IDSA, the organization has been in existence since the spring 2017 semester.

Cracknell said the organization seeks to inform students about the FMU study abroad program, as well as welcoming international students to the university.

“We help and welcome international students from all over the world,” Cracknell said. “We take them to different places, like the beach, and make friends with them so they can feel comfortable here.”

Cracknell said that IDSA is also useful for students who want to explore cultural diversity by meeting new people and experiencing their cultures.

Freshman accounting major Kayla Hams attended the event and said she thought the Student Activities Fair could help many new students become more accustomed to college life at FMU.

“The transition as a freshman is kind of hard because I am not used to being away from home,” Hams said. “I am used to being closed up in my room a lot, so I want to get out more and meet new people.

Barfield also said that student organizations and clubs can play a large role in students’ lives and can complement the lessons learned in the classroom by pushing students to take on leadership roles and responsibilities.