Next to Pumphandle, Carnival of Clubs is one of the biggest events leading into fall term.
It introduces new students to clubs and reminds upperclassmen of old ones. The catch: not everyone who signs up will stay with the club.
“I think I signed up for 10 [clubs],” sophomore Louisa Parzyk said. “I didn’t go to most of them.”
Leaving clubs seems to be a common practice amongst students. Everyone has their reasons.
“You don’t hear a lot of information on new clubs. That’s why it’s hard to join,” sophomore Leslie Carman said.
At Carnival of Clubs, members greet interested students and answer any questions, but once fall term starts, it becomes more difficult to find information. Some students leave clubs halfway through the year.
“As class work picked up, we dropped down to around 15-20 members,” Sophomore Allie Fry, co-president of Students Against Sexism in Society, said. “Unfortunately, night classes have prevented a handful of our dedicated members from attending this term.”
“Common Ground [has] had a dropping off of members recently, which is pretty normal for us winter term,” sophomore Rebecca Gonshak, president of Common Ground, said. “We have a lot of members who come to meetings when they can but don’t come every week, and people who came regularly last term but haven’t this term.”
While attending club meetings is important, the number of students attending meetings does not always determine how many members a club has.
“At the beginning of this term, we’ve had around 10 to 14 people attending our meetings, but when it was really cold we only had six or seven people; even some of our officers didn’t show up,” sophomore Paige Lee, co-president of the Knox Democrats, said. “We always have a lot of sign-ups at Carnival of Clubs, so we have a pretty big distribution list, but not that many people show up to the club meetings.”
“It’s hard to tell [if club membership has dropped] because the number of people and which people fluctuates at every meeting,” junior and president of Anime Club Emily Nield said.
Members may come and go, but there are other ways to stay involved.
“I read the minutes from the weekly [Common Ground] meetings but I don’t go to the actual meetings,” sophomore Laura Myers said.
Staying up to date on the latest club news can help interested students learn about upcoming club-sponsored events and get students involved in the clubs in a more relaxed way.
“We have had a pretty large turn out with events recently … we’ve had people that we’ve never seen before show up to our events,” Lee said.