For almost twenty years, the Student Organization Fair has been offered to students by Montclair State to help showcase the various clubs and organizations on campus.
The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) organizes the fair for both the fall and spring semester. It is a way for students to learn about different clubs, and to become engaged with groups that interest them. Students are notified about the fair through HawkSync, Red Hawk News, the TAP screen in the lobby of the Student Center and through social media.
“The fair is about coming together, and find a single ground [that draws your attention to want to participate in],” stated Ian Wilson, a member of National Association for the Association of Colored People (NAACP).
A few of the clubs and organizations that participated vary from the 3-D Printing Club, Amici Club, Christians on Campus, Environmental Club, Femvolution, Indian Culture Club, Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Montclair Animal Activists, Montclair State Dance Company, Student Government Association and many more. With more than thirty clubs and organizations, it is possible for students to find something that is right for them.
Julie Fleming, the Associate Director for Student Involvement, also organizes the fair and said, “Students who aren’t involved yet are able to meet new organizations and students who are involved are able to connect with new organizations. It’s a great way to make connections.”
During the event, the members of the clubs and organizations advocate to the students about the different types of activities. Students are able to sign their names and emails to receive more information later on. Nonetheless, if students prefer to not give out their contact information, they are made aware of the different events that the club will be offering around campus.
“[The fair] is a community, it’s like we will learn about your [club], and you will learn about ours,” said Marrissa London, President of Hillel, The Jewish Student Union, just before some of the tables from different clubs came together for a photo. Each smiled brightly at each other, and laughed as thy posed for a second photo together that was sillier than the first.
Clubs and organizations target all students, not just a certain gender or race. While LASO is named after Latin American students, it’s open to everyone that wants to be a part of the group.
“We try to provide a space for all students, not just for Latino students. We have a saying, “En unidad es su fuerza,” which translates “in unity there is strength.” So basically that is what our organization is for – to keep students united,” said the secretary of LASO, Alondra Martinez.
The same goes for all other clubs and organization. Maithili Patel, Dance Captain for Indian Culture Club, stated, “It’s very diverse at Montclair [State], so it’s basically [just] adding to the diversity [with all these clubs],”
Fleming explained that while the fair is over for this semester, the opportunity to get involved is never over. Students always have the accessibility to “check HawkSync, that’s the best place to learn about our organizations and find out what’s happening on campus. And make sure you read your email. There is truly something for everyone here.”