On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, students were invited to the UMass Boston Student Activities Involvement Fair as part of the University’s “Title Town” themed Welcome Week. From the Japanese Language Club to the Veteran Student Center, or the K-Pop Club to the Printmaking Club, a multitude of UMass Boston’s over one hundred student activities organizations were represented at the fair.
Several tables lined the space in between Campus Center and the Wheatley and McCormack buildings, making the fair nearly unavoidable for students going to and from class. However, even when many classes were still in session, the fair was still moderately populated. During this time, Sarah Dubois-Coyne, president of the university’s newly established Climbing Club, stated that so far, the fair had been “crowded,” and foot-traffic had been “pretty steady.”
The event was held between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a temperate day, with the sun fading in and out, and the wind blowing at full force. Some club representatives, like Ryane, a spiritual mentor for Alpha Omega—Campus Ministry, appreciated the fact that the fair was outside. She said: “I love that they made it outside here in this area, I think that made it to where it’s really approachable.” Others mentioned wind as a nuisance during the event. The Coordinator of the Asian Student Center stated that the fair usually takes place inside the terrace of the Campus Center, and that she was “really surprised at the number of people [...] tabling” and “surprised that people are willing to go outside and do this.”
The fair's soundtrack was loud and lively, and filled with enthusiastic club representatives who handed out fliers, invited students to their tables, and at times jumped up on the small ledges behind their tables to give a better view of their organization’s sign. Many clubs also gave out free swag and delicious treats to fair-goers. Several tables attracted students with candy, pens, stickers, koozies, and other free items. Marcela, a student in attendance of the fair, proved the effectiveness of that tactic by saying the event was, “pretty cool, I got a lot of free stuff, so I can’t complain.”
At about 12:15, when class let out, the space overflowed with students. Some students simply tried to wade through the crowds to get to and from class, but many stopped to check out at least a few of the tables at the fair.
Students appeared to be generally satisfied with the fair, although some students felt that improvements could be made. When asked how the fair could improve, Marcela stated, “I feel like there’s more clubs that exist than that are here.” One student, Deerdra, stated: “I wish there was more clarity, I guess, on what the groups actually offer.”
Club leaders also appeared to be having a good time trying to introduce new potential members to their organizations. Climbing Club president Sarah spoke to the energetic atmosphere of the fair, stating a high-point of the event as “just the energy . . . and it’s good to see how excited people are about new opportunities.” When asked about a high-point of the day, spiritual minister Ryane pointed out all the help clubs received setting up: “I love that they prepared us with the table cloths . . that was super thoughtful . . . they just had a lot of help in the beginning.”
If students missed the fair, they can check out https://umb.campuslabs.com/engage/ to access UMBeInvolved, the student hub to the wide variety of events and organizations that can be found on campus. If a student does not see the club they want to join, with fifteen student signatures they can begin the process of starting their own club.