The Observer

Club Fair Spells New Beginnings for Fordham Students

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(LENA ROSE/THE OBSERVER)

(LENA ROSE/THE OBSERVER)

(LENA ROSE/THE OBSERVER)


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By KYLE KOVACS
Contributing Writer

On Thursday, Sept. 20, Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) held its annual club fair, during which the student population had ample opportunity to not only browse clubs, but also speak with their various representatives. With 39 of 82 clubs in attendance, undergraduates were offered with extensive and diverse options for communities to immerse themselves in.

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) provides a tight-knit community even with its relatively low student population. As a member of Fordham’s largest Lincoln Center class in history, Cameron Dasher, FCLC ’22, commented “the school population has an ebb and flow tendency and I think there may be an increase in the joining of clubs this year.”

For decades, clubs and activities on every campus have dominated the community bonding scene. The specifics are different for every college due to the large diversity in student body and their core values. While every college differs on their specific clubs, according to  U.S. News & World Report, two essential factors influence an individual’s decision to choose a club: their interest level for the goal or opportunity that the club presents, and the readily available community that the club provides.

Factor number one seems rather obvious; most people do things they like because it makes them feel elated or satisfied. Yet, The Telegraph reports that many college students tend to join clubs based off what their friends or doing or who else is in a club. While this occasionally leads to a newly developed passion, in most cases, it leads to students dropping out of clubs as a whole or feeling as though they do not belong to their club community. Therefore, students turn to the second factor: the readily established community.

The key difference between FLC and other campuses is that individuals describe clubs as providing more of a connecting force between otherwise disconnected individuals to bond over a common cause, goal or hobby. The clubs here aren’t based on popularity, but rather highlight, elaborate on and develop student interests. As Samantha Rizzo, FCLC ’22 put it, “I do think that student involvement is great for creating a sense of community and if everyone who signed up is actually participating, I think it’s really positive for Fordham as a whole.”

In the case of some of the university’s most popular clubs this year, including Muslim Students Association, Tae Kwon Do Club and Commuting Students Association, students are extremely enthusiastic to join clubs that they have interest in or have participated in prior. In some cases, students formed ten minute long lines just to get a signature on an already name-saturated piece of paper.

2018 saw  a drastic rise in participation in clubs that were previously struggling to recruit. Riding on the success of this year’s Urban Plunge, a Fordham-run three-day immersion program for freshmen to participate in community service programs in New York, students began seeking out more societies that focused on social justice. Thus, the Feminist Alliance, Humanitarian Student Union, Model United Nations and Rainbow Alliance all have become topics of conversations between many “plungers” and “non-plungers” alike.

Student involvement inside of the multicultural clubs also hit highs. Groups such as the Black Student Alliance, the Student Organization of Latinos and the Jewish Students Organization were all revitalized this year by the emergence of new members. This is primarily an effect of an increased class size in accompaniment to more people identifying with their heritage and/or culture more than just internally. They are ecstatic to join fellow undergraduates that express as much love for these causes as they do.

Various upperclassmen shared their opinions on getting involved on campus. Their advice was universal: just sign up. “I think students should join as many clubs as possible. Just sign up to anything that interests you and if possible, attend the first meeting,” Stella Pandis, FCLC ’21, said. You never know what you might fall in love with.” This seemed to be a shared sentiment amongst upperclassmen. A common regret of theirs was not immersing themselves into what Fordham had to offer earlier.

For any student still desiring to join a new club, it’s not too late. With the Club Fair just passing and people still finding their interests, Fordham’s organization website, OrgSync, is available to assist students still on the hunt. Specific to either the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses, the website provides not only a list of all the clubs along with the general profiles and missions, but also gives up to date feeds. In these feeds, club meeting dates and times are posted all throughout a detailed calendar. These general meetings are typically for every interested student, whether you were on the email list or not. If you are unsure, just contact the club via their information listed on OrgSync.

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Club Fair Spells New Beginnings for Fordham Students