Last week we were very glad to have a chance to attend the Student Organization Fair. This yearly event is an important opportunity for clubs, publications and other student groups to promote themselves and let students learn about the groups they can join.
We were also glad to see many student groups participating, including not just established clubs with a large presence on campus but also newer, smaller groups that brought a lot of energy to the event.
However, the event was too late in the year. While TKS has weekly meetings, it is always very helpful to get people involved as early as possible. It is easy to keep coming back if you start going to something at the very start of the term.
Further, some groups like Terpsicore or Catch start rolling with events and activities early in the term and their audition or submission periods ended or were near ending before they could use the event to reach more of campus. When the event was during the first week returning students were on campus, it was easier to get new students involved while they were still looking for new activities to participate in. Many of us only started at TKS because we happened on the table during the organization fair.
The new location was nice to see, given that it was closer to the quads and near Seymour, meaning it hopefully had more casual traffic than in past years. However, the concentric square arrangement of the tables led to some confusion about where visitors were meant to walk and how they could enter the square.
We were further frustrated by the lack of prior announcement about the event. While organization leaders were all informed after completing information update forms, there was no campus-wide email about the event, nor was it included in the weekly events newsletter or online calendar.
Despite this, many new and returning students did attend. It was also very heartening to see student groups working together in sharing tables and supplies and supporting each other by visiting other tables. The fair also highlighted how many organizations there are at Knox for students to be involved in, which has long been one of our strengths.
Given how this year’s event went, next year there clearly needs to at least be more advertising of the event. The organization fair is a chance not just to find new groups to join or advertise your own group but also for Knox to show off the opportunities it provides as a school.
Further, having the event earlier in the year would help those clubs which have important events early in the term while also helping all other clubs to get people involved as early as possible. While the first week of school may be too busy, at least the first weekend or second week seems very possible. This would make the event even more productive and better for the school.