Last Wednesday, Jan. 25, UMaine students headed to the Memorial Union for lunch as usual and were greeted with brightly colored, candy-covered tables crammed into the second floor of the Memorial Union. Each table promoted a university club or organization — and between the water polo team tossing balls in the hallway, to the track team eagerly stopping people passing by to promote their group, it was a sight for many behold.
Clubs of all kinds gathered with purposes ranging from activism, recreation, community service and professional advancement. All of them boast friendly atmospheres with passionate and inclusive members always looking to expand their club to fellow students.
A plethora of fraternities and sororities packed into the Bangor Room, with tables lining each wall. The service-based sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma was present to promote their rush, which begins on Feb. 6. The non-selective, gender-inclusive organization is based on the three pillars of “service, friendship and equality,” second-year child development student Natalie Elshaw said.
A number of activist groups were also present, from Amnesty International to the Student Women’s Association. Amnesty International focuses on “human rights issues on college campuses and around the whole world,” fourth-year political science student Madison Waterman said, who was manning the table. Showcased on the table was the group’s past project on student debt, featuring photos of students holding signs of their expected debt after graduation.
The Student Women’s Association promoted their group by outlining their upcoming events such as Body Positivity Week, Beautiful Week, a clothing swap and the wildly popular Vagina Monologues.
Active Minds was also present, promoting their message of mental well-being with an inviting blue banner and free pins saying “Laugh More.” Active Minds is “a fun organization committed to reducing mental health stigma and promoting mental health wellness,” group secretary, social media coordinator and second-year psychology student Marta Herzog said. The group is planning to coordinate UMaine’s first Mental Health Monologues, a story-sharing live performance closely styled like the Vagina Monologues.
Adorned with a giant Hogwarts flag was the university’s very own Quidditch Club. Many people know Quidditch as a sport from the Harry Potter series. Becca Bylaska-Davies, a fourth-year wildlife ecology major, explained the club sport as “The real version of Quidditch, as if it were a real sport.” They practice for full games, where the real spectacle is their version of the golden snitch, otherwise known as an energetic student clad in shiny golden clothes that runs around while trying to avoid capture.
Other organizations such as the UMaine chapter of HerCampus also attended the fair. The online magazine targets collegiate women to write for them and they are encouraged to “write about anything under the sun that relates to issues college women face,” third-year mass communications student Calen Cartlidge said. The different topics range from politics to makeup tips.
For any students who find solace in the outdoors, the Wildlife Society may be a great fit. “We do an array of things, including volunteering at local wildlife refuges,” fourth-year wildlife ecology student Kyle Schute said. The group attracts students whose majors focus on the environment, but are open to anyone with a passion for nature.
A number of sports clubs were present, ranging from Club Track to Water Polo. The UMaine Figure Skating team was also present and actively looking for more recruits. “We are always looking for more [members] and beginners are always welcome,” president and fourth-year marine biology student Elizabeth Nelson said. The group currently has around 15 members and is anticipating events this spring such as bake sales and a Valentine’s Day Skate.
Despite the dreary weather and the limited space, all of the clubs present strived to recruit more members and the three-hour long event was regarded as a success for all those involved.