Involvement Complimenting the Classroom: Suffolk’s Annual Winter Involvement Fair

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More than 450 Suffolk students made their way out of the rain and into the halls of the Sawyer building to attend Suffolk’s annual Winter Involvement Fair last Thursday.

A total of 88 student organizations and campus resources set up tables along the perimeter of three Sawyer student lounges in hopes of recruiting new members for the spring semester. For many, the Winter Involvement Fair offered the chance to commit to a club or group on campus before the end of the academic year.

First-year transfer student Adia Clifford said the fair was a great way for her to finally get involved in extracurricular activities, an opportunity she had not yet taken advantage of.

“At my old school, I didn’t really get involved

at all, so I came here to change that,” said Clifford in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “It’s always important to meet new people, get to know other students and build connections.”

Kelsey Johansen, the assistant director of the Student Leadership and Involvement office (SLI), believes events like the Winter Involvement Fair help students branch out and take advantage of the skills each club has to offer.

“There are so many different kinds of involvement, and it’s important to make sure every student has the same experience and be welcomed to the Suffolk community, regardless of what semester they start their Suffolk journey,” said Johansen in an interview with The Journal.

“The involvement fair is sometimes the only opportunity a new group has to put their face out there and recruit new members, it is definitely a crucial time for new clubs, and older clubs as well.””

— Kelsey Johansen, Assistant Director of SLI

For students like senior Politics, Philosophy and Economics major Tyler McGrath, the event provided him with another chance to engage with students from across campus. McGrath,

a member of the Suffolk Free Radio, said he attends the Winter Involvement Fair annually to revisit clubs from previous years and interact with organizations that are

new each semester.
“It’s important to venture out and meet new people,” said Mcgrath in an interview with The Journal. “I come to see the older groups and also

to check out whatever new groups are here and decide if I wanna sign up.”

This year alone, SLI introduced six new groups: the Financial Technology Club, Sports Marketing and Business Club, Climbing Club, African Student Association, Fundamental Sisterhood Society and the Youth Empowerment Ministry.

“The involvement fair is sometimes the only opportunity a new group has to put their face out there and recruit new members,” said Johansen. “It is definitely a crucial time for new clubs, and older clubs as well.”

Through the SLI office, students can form new clubs at any point in the year. Clubs are required to start with four executive (e-board) members, two general members and a faculty advisor.

SLI recorded a total of 459 attendees for this year’s Winter Involvement Fair. Johansen assured that attendance of the event has steadily increased over time.

Johansen, a Suffolk alumnus, said her participation in club activities helped her gain the “soft skills” she needed to feel confident in life outside of academics.

“There is so much more to involvement than the social aspect,” said Johansen. “Joining a club and engaging in extracurricular activities can give you experience you cannot find in the classroom. Depending on the role they have in that group, students can learn how to budget, how to lead, improve time management and so much more.”

Johansen said she enjoys being a resource for students looking to get involved at Suffolk.

“As advisers, we encourage students to take that step because student organizations can give students knowledge, experience and soft skills they did not know they needed.”

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