Over 2000 students eager to get involved in campus organizations attended this year’s Anteater Involvement Fair held in Aldrich Park on the first day of welcome week.
With over 600 organizations on campus, the fair plays an important role in exposing students to various organizations.
“Most of the students who ultimately become members of our club are recruited during this fair,” said Dhruvi Chauhan, a mentor of Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE), an organization that provides workshops and one-on-one mentorships for middle school and high school girls.
Each organization hosted a table in which members held colorful posters, wore matching organization t-shirts, delivered short presentations, passed out flyers and prepared sign-up sheets.
This annual event is organized by the Office of Campus Organizations (CORE). This year’s theme, “Shine On,” was committed to spreading the goals of each organization to the student body.
“We wanted each club to exemplify the light, or positive attributes it already has and shine that light to the rest of the students on campus,” said Timothy Pham, program coordinator of CORE.
Aldrich Park was divided into sections based on the categories of the various organizations, such as club sports, religious groups, or academically focused organizations. Information booths at the center of the park provided maps to guide students. These were some of the improvements of this year’s fair, which made it easier for students to find clubs tailored to their interests.
“Even though the fair seemed more crowded this year, the set-up made it easier to navigate and find clubs than last year,” said Saamiyah Ahmed, a second year biological sciences major. “I am excited to finally be getting involved with so many organizations.”
While students explored different booths, several dance and song groups performed on stage near the center of the park.
Among the performers was the Hawai’i Club at UCI, which presented a hula dance on stage to encourage students interested in hula dancing and Hawaiian culture to join.
“All of the dances that were performed were from last year’s luau and we are going to be teaching many of these dances at our hula workshops this year,” said Leianne Roylo, a third year computer science and engineering major. “The performance during the fair is a way for us to advertise for our club because we’re mainly a social club, but we also teach hula.”
Organizations were required to register for the fair with CORE as early as July and flyers for the fair were distributed to freshmen and transfer students during their summer orientations.
CORE also arranged several contests between campus organizations on social media to help these advertise to other students.
“We were doing the contests to get the word out to give students the chance to learn about other clubs,” said Pham. “The organizations were able to market their own events on our page as well.”
While the Anteater Involvement Fair is intended to bring together students and campus organizations, it has become an integral part of UCI culture, and is attended by many alumni and members of the community as well.
“Although I’m no longer a UCI student, I love coming to see all the different clubs and students come together,” said Amana Rafique, a UCI alumna. “It really shows the UCI school spirit and I think it’s a wonderful way to start off the new school year.”