The Center for Student Success will host its third annual Organization Fair today from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Front Lawn.
The event will provide students an opportunity to get acquainted with many of Harding’s clubs and organizations, and will showcase ways for students to get involved on campus in addition to the social club process.
The Organization Fair began in Fall 2015 when Dr. Kevin Kehl, dean for the Center for Student Success, realized that many freshmen do not want to join a social club, but still want to stay connected to their peers.
“I think what usually comes to people’s minds (for organizations) is social clubs,” Kehl said. “But that number is somewhere between 60-65 percent of students, which means 30-40 percent of the students are not involved in a social club. So how do they get involved? How do they get engaged with campus community?”
Kehl said that three years ago the Center for Student Success decided to create a venue for organizations to introduce themselves to incoming freshmen.
“This was another instance in which it was time to bring some more recognition and exposure (to) the variety that’s on campus of organizations where students participate in,” Kehl said. “Even while they’re thinking about social clubs, whether maybe the social clubs are not for them or they don’t get in the club they want, there are still lots of opportunities for them to be involved on campus.”
The Organization Fair has a wide variety of organizations represented so far, from the BioMedical Engineering Society (BMES) to HU Brave. Kehl said that clubs from every major, interest and societal issue are welcome.
For new organizations on campus, the fair is the perfect time to introduce themselves to the community. One such organizations is the Young Democrats, which formed last spring. President of the Young Democrats senior Jesse Mechler said that since they are an up-and-coming organization, the Organization Fair will help them establish a presence on campus.
“I want (the freshmen) to know that we want them to feel included, and we want this to be a place for the people who didn’t fit in last semester when there was no place for them,” Mechler said. “I’d want to see all majors (in our club), and people from the education building, and the science building … I’d hope to see some teachers there, just kind of everyone. I want to be inclusive.”
Some clubs that will be represented are more well-known around campus, such as the Student Association (SA). Sophomore Katie Tracy, a member of the committee of First Year Experience, said the Organization Fair is beneficial for new students.
“I went to the fair last year,” Tracy said. “I think it’s very good for freshmen to seek out different opportunities on campus. I think it’s important to our student body and should be looked into by everyone.”
The Organization Fair will be open to all students from 6-8 p.m. on the Front Lawn.