At the heart of the University of Maine’s campus, second-year student Katherine Reardon sat on the lawn and took in the scenery. Before her sat hundreds of UMaine students bustling about, full of energy and school spirit. Each one ready to recruit new members for their clubs. Reardon has done this once before as a first-year student, but this year’s fair had a different feeling.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., hundreds of students gathered on the mall with banners, fliers, photos and smiles. Each club and organization was assigned a table and area of the mall. Groups arrived before the event to set up and get ready to take part in UMaine’s annual Student Organization Fair. The purpose of the fair is to introduce new and returning students to the wide variety of activities and opportunities that are available at UMaine, and get people involved and active in the school community. Many incoming freshman use the fair as a way to meet new people, learn more about the clubs that interest them, and ask questions about leadership opportunities.
“Looking through the lens of someone who is visiting UMaine’s campus for the first time, or as an incoming freshman, it is easy to see that you might be overwhelmed by the huge number of clubs and activities the school has to offer,” third-year transfer student Mary Ellen O’Leary said. “We participate in this event as club members and leaders in order to help take some of the stress off of new students coming to campus and to bring the opportunities to them.”
Clubs and organizations such as the Dance Club, Engineering Club, the UMaine Crew Team and others had displays along the entire length of the mall. Students sat in chairs and around tables to answer questions, give advice and hand out information and meeting dates. These groups shared a similar goal: bringing a positive and exciting new energy to the campus. Volunteers from each group took turns manning their tables and welcoming each of the students who made their way onto the mall to check out the fair.
“The warm and welcoming atmosphere made students eager and excited to walk around and see what each table was all about,” Reardon said. “Every year, coming to the fair is such a rewarding and great experience.”
Sororities and fraternities were also tabling during the fair, as well as intramural and club sports teams. Theta Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Chi Omega, and Alpha Gamma Ro were among the many Greek life organizations who attended the event.
“It’s a great way to get everyone together, meet new people and spend time with friends. It also introduces freshman and underclassmen to all that UMaine has to offer,” second-year student Hannah Dubuc said. “As someone who is a part of multiple clubs and groups on campus, I was proud to see so many people coming out to represent their organization and to show newer students what their club is all about.”
The fair introduces students to the organizations and clubs on our campus. Gathering on the mall united each unique group for a day of frisbee tossing, lawn games, sun rays, and cute dogs.
“It is quite a spectacle to see everyone out on the mall setting up dozens of tables. The day is filled with high energy and smiling faces. A lot of people are eager to answer student questions and get new members interested in their club,” Dubuc said. “It was a little overwhelming as a freshman to navigate through the maze of tables and figure out which clubs were right for me, but coming back as a sophomore made the experience much more comfortable and rewarding.”
For more information on UMaine’s clubs and organizations, please visit http://www.umaine.edu/case/student-organizations or check out fliers and bulletin boards located all around campus.