Winter Involvement Fair


Evelyn Zavala

Students maneuver rows of organizations tabling at the winter involvement fair in the Henderson Campus Center on Thursday, Jan. 19. Hosted by the Office of Student Life twice a year, the involvement fair is one of the most well attended events on campus.

The Henderson Campus Center showcased a variety of clubs and organizations on Thursday, Jan. 19, for the biannual Involvement Fair. About half of the clubs at Allegheny College participated in the fair, according to the Office of Student Life.
Upon entering the campus center, students were met with rows of tables featuring clubs, along with pretzel bites, candy, cookies, popcorn and other foods served by Gator Dining in the back of the campus center.
All the food items were made by the baker on campus, and the food items were chosen by the coordinators of the event, according to new Catering Director Julie Glazer.
“There is access for people on campus to order catering through Cater Trax and that allows people in organizations to order food for special events,” Glazer said. “Sometimes we make suggestions and are happy to discuss the menu.”
Student Life Coordinator for Student Programming Gloria Burgess explained that, typically, the winter fair has less participation from clubs than the fall fair because a lot of clubs do not need as much advertisement.
“I oversee pretty much the whole planning of it,” Burgess said.

“I send out emails to each of the clubs and let them know that we are planning the fair, then collect all the submissions that we get and make sure we have the space available.”
While students can attend the fall Involvement Fair, the Winter Involvement Fair can be another opportunity to revisit getting involved. Clubs were allowed to take to the public address system and pitch their club to the crowd.
“When you come in as a first year in the fall it can be kind of overwhelming, especially seeing all those clubs lined up on the Gator Quad,” Burgess said. “And then, as you go through the fall semester, people start figuring out what clubs they liked and it gives them another chance to start involving themselves.”
Vice President of the South Asian Students Society Hema Baniya, ’24, described some of the things the club highlights in order to recruit new members, though she noted the club had challenges with recruiting and only had six students sign up.
“During the fall it is really easy because we emphasize the big event which is Diwali and in the Spring we celebrate Holi,” Baniya said. “We try to push that you don’t have to be South Asian to join our organization. I think it is a good idea to have the Involvement Fair twice a year, but it is harder to get new people to join during the spring fair than the fall because there are new faces coming in (during fall).”
Baniya said that she joined SASS through the fair and has found it helpful in finding people who are also South Asian.
“I went to a predominantly white school when I was in high school, and Allegheny is kind of the same,” Baniya said. “Finding people from South Asia was really nice because even if we were from different parts of it, it was still something that was like a community for me.”
Baniya remarked that students seeking to get involved should not shy away from a club based on their name, because clubs are open to everyone.
“I know for International Club, people have the assumption that it is only for international students and for (the Islamic Cultural Association), people think you need to be Muslim,” Baniya said. “But you don’t need to be any of these things because a lot of it is about exchanging and learning about new cultures and trying to make ourselves more visible to the school community.”
Playshop Theatre performer Victoria Smith, ’23, explained that her organization still benefits from the fair despite being well known around campus.
“I think this is a good way to get people because we talk to them about different opportunities in the theater department,” Smith said. “Some people see audition posters and may not get engaged in the same way where if they come up to us we can give them awareness of all the other opportunities such as jobs in the department.”
Extracurricular involvement is one of the most important parts of a student’s experience, according to Burgess.
“It’s amazing to see students have a lot of fun with each other and not just constantly be worried about classes,” Burgess said.