On Sept. 4 on the University of Maine Mall, hundreds of organizations gathered together to introduce themselves at the annual Student Organization Fair. The fair is held every fall in order to expose first-year and returning students to the many organizations available on campus.
“This is such a great opportunity to meet new people, no matter how long you have been at UMaine,” Tori Skidgell, a third-year communications student, said. “The fair also helps you figure out what you might be interested in doing during your college career, and to help you make connections and reach out to people you might not have necessarily talked to before.”
Some of the clubs and teams that appeared on the Mall included the Alpine Ski Club, Equestrian Club, Philosophy Club, Black Student Union, Crew Club, Gamer’s Guild, Maine Outing Club and dozens of others. Intramural sports teams also tabled on the mall alongside the different clubs, with sign-up sheets and information available for those interested in joining. Rowing, rugby, ultimate frisbee, softball, hockey and field hockey are just some of the intramural and club sports teams that UMaine has to offer. Each section was labeled to distinguish certain groups of organizations, making it easy to find specific groups or types of activity.
“I enjoy seeing all the clubs putting their name out there and representing different facets of UMaine, it’s really special,” Gabby Sands, a third-year psychology student, said.
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana made an appearance on the Mall with many other UMaine faculty and staff to check out this year’s list of organizations. School mascot Bananas T. Bear also showed up to pose for pictures and provide school spirit.
“The organization fair is a quick way to figure out just how many things are available on our campus to join. Looking online and seeing a list of the hundreds of clubs can be very overwhelming, but this is a solution to that,” Michaela Piatt, a second-year English student, said. “This is a relaxing and less-intimidating way of seeing what you can be a part of at such a big school.”
Each table had a unique design, many decorated with colorful and encouraging posters, table cloths and signs. Students from each club handed out information pamphlets, pens, photos, contact list sheets, bags and other goodies. Some groups even had lawn games, such as spikeball and cornhole, available to play in the center of the Mall, allowing interested students to interact with those involved in the organizations.
Also included in the fair were UMaine sponsored organizations and programs that shared information about going abroad, scholarships and other helpful resources. Another section of organizations were dedicated to fraternities and sororities involved in the Greek life at UMaine. Many of the members decorated their tables with wooden letters, composite photos and Greek Life memorabilia that introduced the incoming freshmen to their organization. A table was located in the center of the Greek life area where students could ask questions and sign up for this fall’s formal recruitment.
“It’s definitely a really great chance for freshman students to engage in extracurriculars and to be introduced to them in a comfortable environment,” Adam Boucher, a third-year mechanical engineering student, said. “Everyone is able to be together in the same place to share new information about what their group is about.”