UR’s second Spring Activities Fair in Wilson Commons had more student groups participating than in previous years, but that greater number forced some groups to set up their demonstrations in the more out-of-the-way Havens Lounge.
“The success is, we did have more groups. Because of that, we wanted to have it evenly spread out,” Assistant Director of Student Activities Programs Lydia Crews, one of the main organizers of the event, said.
“We didn’t want to have everyone jammed into the May Room because it makes it very difficult for traffic flow, for the students to actually look and interface with the various clubs.”
“The downfall, of course, with the May Room is that people in the May Room were isolated from [Havens Lounge] and the bridge – which is why the food was placed there.”
Publications, including the Campus Times, and activist groups such as Grassroots, Students for Social Justice and the College Republicans, among others, were placed in Havens Lounge.
All other groups were in the Bridge Lounge and the May Room.
“I think why it happened is, first of all, we had more groups sign up this year,” Director of Wilson Commons Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier said.
“Every year we’ve been getting an increase in the amount of student groups.”
Algier felt that groups have realized the importance of being more active. “I also think that people are realizing how important it is to recruit,” she said. “I think it’s been a good year [for student groups]. I think they’ve been really active, and I think they’ve been doing the right things.”
“The selecting process has nothing to do with who can come and who can’t,” Crews said. “It’s the groups that register.”
President of SSJ and junior Vivek Shah, felt that the Activities Fair went well despite being in the Havens Lounge.
“It still went pretty well, because we did mention it when we found out we were in Havens Lounge,” Shah said. “They kind of remedied it when they moved the food there.”
Shah felt that one possible solution to the problem would have been a sign.
“The only thing I would have liked is a large, noticeable sign saying, ‘Hey, more groups are in Havens Lounge,’ but that’s the only thing I would have liked.”
Another possibility under consideration for next year is a more economical use of the existing space.
“We are already starting figuring out [a plan] for next year that might put more people in the May Room,” Algier said.
“We think we could fit another row because people tend to crowd up around [the demonstrations], so there seemed like there was an ability to have another row in there which would allow us not to have people in Haven’s.”
“We don’t want to turn people away, it’s not what we’re all about,” Algier said.
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