By Zachary Chen, Sept. 7, 2021
Over 200 students gathered at the University Park on Aug. 25 to explore their personal interests and ways to become more involved on campus at the first in-person club fair since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hosted by the Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers, the event coincides with CPP Fest, a welcome campaign for incoming first-year and transfer students. The club fair aims to familiarize incoming students with different types of clubs around campus, ranging from cultural clubs, Greek life, sports clubs and many more.
According to Andrea Yesta, student life coordinator at the OSLCC, the fair was limited to 50 clubs, making the event smaller than those in the past which had nearly 200 clubs.
With safety guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19, each club was limited to three club members per booth with masks being a requirement for everyone.
“The atmosphere has been really nice. There are a lot of people here, and it’s really cool to see the things each club brought out,” said Adrian Bermudez, an aerospace engineering student. “Everyone has been wearing masks and staying safe, so it is nice.”
With booths lined up all around University Park, and students filling the area, club leaders took the opportunity to be more intimate and interactive with students. Several club booths displayed hand-decorated posters describing what their club is about while offering free goodies and encouraging people to participate in their raffles.
As in-person classes resume on campus for the first time in over a year, many clubs were excited to show off their student-built projects.
With virtual club fairs in the past year, club leaders saw challenges with recruitment in an online environment as it limited what clubs were able to showcase to students.
Clubs like Bronco Motorsports were able to bring out their Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) racecar out, a racecar built and tested by students to compete in international competitions against other collegiate organizations around the world.
“A big problem for us in the virtual world is that racecars are very hands-on,” said Nevada Chovan, mechanical engineering student and design lead at Bronco Motorsports. “We are a club that is open to everyone and anyone that wants to work on the car. Being able to show off the FSAE car in person has certainly caught people’s attention.”
For Cal Poly Pomona, clubs are a way for students to become more involved in student life and can provide opportunities to meet a diverse population and lead to social skills, personal development and networking opportunities.
“Being involved in co-curricular activities is important to the college experience and those involved tend to do better in school,” said Yesta. “We are in a strange place where we are doing things both in person and virtually, so we want to give those students equal opportunities to join clubs.”
The next club fair is set for Sept. 10 at the University Park alongside two additional virtual fairs in October. For more information on club events, visit the CPP Fest page. For the full list of clubs and organizations available at Cal Poly Pomona, visit its website.
Feature image courtesy of Liz Roosa Miller.
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