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The day is September 24, the time is 11 a.m., and I am in Aldrich Park to kick off UC Irvine’s 2012 Welcome Week.

UCI’s Welcome Week is jam-packed with exciting opportunities and celebrations, but no event is livelier than the Anteater Involvement Fair. The fair offers all Anteaters a chance to quench the thirst of their interests by getting involved with the plethora of clubs and organizations on the UCI campus.

With a New University reporter’s notepad and the sun caked on my face, I took in the fair and profiled interesting clubs that any Anteater can join.

If you are looking to help others and give back to the community, you should definitely look into Helping Hearts for the Homeless. This is a club that is dedicated to providing homeless people with the basic necessities for day-to-day survival. Utilizing money from their fundraisers, the members of Helping Hearts travel to LA and hand out care packages to homeless people. In addition to this, they also take at least one homeless person out to lunch in order to sit down with them and find out their story. Helping Hearts believes in the importance of interacting with the homeless and breaking down stereotypes that the public may hold against them. If you are interested in joining, meetings are held on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. in SSL 206.

A harmonious organization that desires to increase its presence on the UCI campus is our radio station, KUCI. KUCI would like to inform all Anteaters that it plays 24 hours a day, seven days a week on FM 88.9, and that it is possible to become a DJ. All you have to do to be eligible is take the radio DJ class beginning on October 10. The goal of our campus radio station is to be eclectic, give exposure to relatively unknown musicians and inform the students on daily news and current events. If you are interested, you should attend the KUCI Open House on October 3 in the building behind the science library or visit KUCI.org.

If you are interested in books and love Harry Potter, you should join Dumbledore’s Anteaters. They describe themselves as a “nerdy social club” whose members like to hang out and discuss mutual interests. Besides reading and dissecting great books like “Game of Thrones,” Dumbledore’s Anteaters also like to play quirky games like “dodgespell,” which is a game they created themselves comprised of dodgeball but with spells. Meetings are Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Aldrich Park under the “Whomping Willow.”

A club which provides a voice for animals in need is Irvine Students Against Animal Cruelty. The members of this club try to promote more compassionate lifestyles and educate people about animal rights issues. Some of the events the club organizes are vegan potlucks, social gatherings and animal shelter visits. Irvine Students Against Animal Cruelty desires to make an impact and be a voice for the animals. Meetings are held Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in SSL 290.

If you are interested in the rights of the preborn, you’re perfect for Students for Life. This club focuses on helping women in crisis pregnancies and increasing the dialogue regarding the rights of babies who have not yet been born. Students for Life holds fundraisers, informative booths and protests. They donate their proceeds to BirthChoice and Living Well. The members would like to emphasize that they are not a religious club; their main focus is helping women. Meetings are held Mondays at 7 p.m. in SSL 155.

Having interviewed these compelling clubs, I decided to take a break and enjoy the music and dances happening on the stage. I was able to catch MCIA and SPOP Modern’s beautiful performances. I had just begun to think that the fair had gone pretty well when I heard “Gangnam Style” playing, and with that I was sure: the fair had been a huge success.

Whether your passion is Harry Potter or animal rights, there is a place for you among UCI’s diverse clubs and organizations. There is something for everybody, and if you want to make your time here worthwhile, you need to get involved. You never know what you may be denying yourself by not becoming informed. The opportunities and relationships you will form are priceless, don’t reject their chance to exist.

The Anteater Involvement Fair was great. The vibe was welcoming, the music and dances were beautiful, and even though I am a fourth year, I learned so much. So get out there, Anteaters! Make an impact, make your voice heard and do something you can be proud of, because these amazing four years of your life only come around once. Use them! ZOT!

 

 

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