Virtual Student Involvement Fair brings new members to VWU clubs

The Virtual Student Involvement Fair for the spring semester held on Friday, Feb. 5 was a major success for many clubs and organizations on campus.

Traditionally, the student involvement fair is held in person in the CMAC at the beginning of each semester. Student organizations usually attract new student members by having team members at a table where they can share information and gather student contact info. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the involvement fair was moved to a virtual format. 

There are many aspects of the involvement fair that are different this semester. Sarah Guzzo, the Director of Student Activities mentions a couple, which were to create google meet links, and prepare presentations to go along with the individual club meetings. In many ways, the involvement fair was also similar to the in-person version held in previous years. 

“There is still a lot of traffic and people reaching out,” Guzzo said. She also added that the chat box feature allows the leaders and students to communicate about contact information and make sure all questions are answered. 

According to Sarah Guzzo, the organizations that were confirmed as active had the opportunity to share their names, purposes and links to social media for the involvement fair. The fair, although virtual, was not silenced by the pandemic and its protocols.

“The involvement fair in person was chaotic–and now it is still chaotic, but just virtually,” said Guzzo. Guzzo’s main responsibility, during a virtual involvement fair, was to provide and create a virtual space for the different clubs and organizations to recruit and appropriately display their purposes and contact information.

There are many purposes for the involvement fair; it is not only for freshmen that are stopping by to find out more information about offered clubs, but also for upperclassmen who are looking to become more engaged. The online version of the involvement fair allows for students to communicate with other Marlins who are leaders and members and their corresponding faculty advisors. 

The involvement fair was also a  personal moment for Guzzo, who said, “…[The students] feel like they belong, and as a staff we try our best in person to promote the sense of belonging.” 

The student organizations are led by the students and advised by staff who make sure the organization meets requirements and  promotes inclusivity, excellence and honorable behavior. 

Organizations like fraternities, sororities and ministerial groups were at this event. Former Alpha Sigma Alpha president Caroline Domo said that the Involvement Fair was “a chance to reach out to new girls around campus and share a little about our sisterhood and what it means to be an Alpha Sig!” 

The goals for the members of this sorority are “maintaining our previous awards for high GPAs within the chapter as well as serving our community and philanthropy,” according to Domo.

Over the last year, the Spectrum organization and the Marlin Ministries LGBTQ+ group have had the opportunity  to collaborate and “start a revolution,” said Kenneth Henry, one of the leaders in the LGBTQ+ group on campus. 

Henry shared why it was important to provide this platform and community to be more inclusive on the Virginia Wesleyan campus, stating, “I expect people to have an interest in our groups because many religions and communities are not inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community and now we have a chance to make a difference.” 

All three clubs and organizations hosted their own virtual events during the student involvement fair. Other clubs and organizations that hosted their own meetings include Marlins Go Green, College Republicans, Young Democrats Club, Movie Crew and more. 

Students were able to access these events via a Google sheet filled with all the information about each club, including the Google Meet links to each individual meeting. That Google form is still active for students to access. It includes details about club leaders and social media accounts that students can reach out to in order to find out more information if they missed the event.

Isaac Guzman