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Biannual fair encourages students to branch out

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 22:01

More than 300 student organizations will be featured at UConn’s 2014 Spring Involvement Fair from 2 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 in the Student Union.

The Fair’s popularity has been growing each year, as around 3,000 students are expected to be in attendance tomorrow according to Program Coordinator for Student Involvement, Kristen Carr.

Along with an increased student attendance, a myriad of new organizations in areas including community service, academics, outdoor activities and special interest will be actively recruiting members, Carr said.

For the Spring 2014 fair, organizations will be arranged randomly throughout the Student Union. Students will receive maps upon entering the fair that will direct them to organizations of interest. Carr said that the random arrangement of organizations - as opposed to arrangement by category used in past fairs - encourages students to check out organizations they may have initially overlooked.

“There could be groups in one room (that you’re looking in) that you would have never of thought to join,” she said.

The UConn Involvement office hopes to draw more students to the fair by providing them with the chance to win a 32-inch HD TV. To have a chance to win, students must complete a scavenger hunt that will lead them to cultural centers and other offices in the Student Union. If they successfully complete the scavenger hunt, they will be entered in a drawing to win the TV.

Carr said that the scavenger hunt not only gives students an opportunity to win a TV but it raises awareness of on-campus opportunities students may not have known existed.

“(The scavenger hunt) encourages students to visit cultural centers and to see more resources available on campus they would never think of,” Carr said. “There’s a lot of great things happening in (the Student Union). It’s a nice connection.”

Before heading to the Fair, Carr recommends that students do some initial research on UConntact, a service that provides descriptions and meeting times for many of the university’s 647 organizations. The site also enables students to contact the organization either through its site or by email, should they have any questions. By using UConntact, students are less likely to be overwhelmed when they show up for the fair, she said.

Most importantly, the Spring Involvement Fair allows students to connect with organization members in person, who can answer questions, sign students up for organizations and include them on the club email list to receive important organization information, Carr said.

“The Involvement Fair is an opportunity to get an idea of what you want to do. You can’t beat face-to-face interaction.”


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