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Club Fair Connects Freshmen with 50+ Groups

Henry Hahn and Jackson Staszak talk with Drone Club moderator Patrick Doyle during the Freshman Club Fair on Sept. 21, 2023.

More than 50 clubs attempted to put their best foot forward for the freshmen in the annual Freshman Club Fair on Sept. 21. The event served as a time for new students to walk through the Loyola Gym and get their first taste of what clubs at Rockhurst look like.

While freshmen had been a part of Rockhurst for five weeks, many were not yet engaged with a club. The Club Fair aimed to jump-start their involvement. For many, this was their first look into the club community, and they had their uncertainties.

“I didn’t really know what the club fair was going to be. I didn’t know that there were going to be so many clubs there to see and what clubs I would even want to do,” said freshman Carter Owens.

Each freshman was given a Bingo card prior to entering the Fair. As they walked around and interacted with clubs, the leaders of those groups would stamp their Bingo card. There were five different columns on the cards, each relating to a different type of club at Rockhurst. Students looking for a Bingo would have to go to at least one of each. This gave students a reward for diversifying their club search and broadening their horizons.

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“The ‘World Culture’ category was really new to me,” said freshman Leo Kane. “I wasn’t thinking I would go to any of them, but it definitely helped me go to score that Bingo.”

While the Bingo cards helped bring new members to the table, some club leaders weren’t necessarily fans.

“It felt like many freshmen talked to us just to get a stamp and didn’t really care about the club or what we did,” said junior Knox Nail, who helped with a variety of clubs around the Fair.

With this being said, Nail did still find a silver lining.

“It did seem to encourage kids to interact that probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the cards.”

On top of the Bingo cards bringing students to the tables, club leaders also did their part to try to pull in new members. The Student Diversity Union set out Conchas, a Mexican pastry, as well as pins representing the club. The Video Game Club tried to capture students’ attention with interactive displays, allowing them to play video games with their friends.

Another club that used interactive ways to attract members was the Chinese Club, which set out M&Ms that students could grab with chopsticks. The Album Club allowed students to flip through crates of records and request songs to be played on the record player. Each club was able to bring a unique aspect of their club to their table and used them to capture the attention of new members.

Club moderators and leaders prepared for the event long before it arrived. Clubs like the Chinese Club had several meetings prior to the event to discuss how to engage freshmen. The Chinese Club is a special case, too, because they need new members each year in order to keep the beloved dragon dance alive. In the end, they were successful. 

“We got enough people for the dragon which requires seven people, and that’s exciting,” said Sam Reintjes, who helped with the Chinese Club’s table.

With the Club Fair behind us, its results have begun to show. Some club leaders have reported an increase in numbers since the fair and more activity than ever. However, some club leaders have witnessed a drop-off in interest.

Faculty and alumni say clubs have long been a part of what makes Rockhurst what it is. The Freshman Club Fair seeks to help make an impact on the Rockhurst community by connecting the Rock’s newest members of the community with a group. Only time will tell how significant the impact truly is.

 

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About the Contributor
Charlie Porto, Staff Reporter
My name is Charlie Porto. I am a junior, and this is my first year on the newspaper staff. English has always been my favorite subject at Rockhurst, so writing for the newspaper has always been an enticing idea. Newspaper has also been interesting to me as a way to further dive into the Rockhurst community. I have never had the opportunity to interview people, so I’m looking forward to the chance. Outside of newspaper, I am on the cross country and tennis teams. In addition, I am involved with the Ignatian Leadership Program, and I am a candidate for NHS. This year I hope to have successful sports seasons and get more involved with the Rockhurst community. I also hope to further improve my writing abilities, and my ability to perform interviews and edit stories. I’m looking forward to building connections with the newspaper staff and helping spread stories across Rockhurst. Beyond high school, I’m not sure what I would like to pursue in college and later on in a career, but a career involving English has always interested me.
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