The late summer sun’s rays kissed the lawns of Wilson Quad on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 1, which made it a delightful setting for the Fall 2023 Activities Fair to take place!
The Activities Fair is often talked about on campus as a highlight of the fall semester, but it also serves as a detailed illustration of the UR student body’s diverse interests, as there are nearly 400 clubs and organizations to choose from.
For first-years looking to sign up for a bunch of things to sample all that campus has to offer, or for students looking to stay loyal with a club or two, the Activities Fair is the place to be. There’s ample opportunity to join new organizations all-year round outside of the Fair — but it still stands as a reminder of all the opportunities the University has to offer outside of academics.
After 3:30 p.m., an excited parade of eager freshmen and upperclassmen snaked through the rows of white tables, with people occasionally interrupting the flow of the crowd to ask for more information from a club’s representatives.
“I loved the open ‘come by whenever’ vibe of the whole thing,” said first-year Anika Mungi about the Fair. “It made it really chill and not overwhelming at all. There were clubs that I already knew existed and wanted to get more information on, but there were also clubs that I didn’t know existed that I was able to check out which was really cool.”
Long before the festivities began, passionate club leaders decorated the blank canvases of white tri-fold display boards and carefully chose what little goodies they might give to students who sign up to hear more about their clubs. Senior Sophia Samantaroy, an eboard member of the Food Recovery Network, explained that water and sunscreen are also a necessity for those tabling through the heat.
Giveaways this year ranged from an Iron Man sticker and a stress ball from Cru, to a raffle ticket to win a t-shirt with Trump’s mugshot on it from College Democrats. If that wasn’t enough to entice students, Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA) set up a tent with warm and gooey Insomnia Cookies for everyone!
The true mastermind behind the Activities Fair — and those cookies — is Kyle deManincor, the Assistant Director of Club Sports and Crowdfunding for WCSA. Over the past few years, deManincor has worked to not only digitize the layout of the fair so that it can be accessible to students beforehand, but to make the event less overwhelming for those in attendance. His efforts have translated to high numbers of sign ups and successful first General Interest Meetings for many on-campus organizations.
“It is hard to do a demo in the beginning of the year when your members haven’t been together,” said Interim Dean of Students Anne-Marie Algier. “But [the club leaders] rocked it!”
For those club-seekers unable to attend the Activities Fair, log onto CCC for a detailed list of organizations to join new groups, and reach out to club leaders.