Every fall, the University of Scranton holds an Activities Fair for students to explore the various clubs and club sports offered on campus.
This year, the activities fair was online to adhere to social distancing. Clubs and club sports registered for an hour time slot between 12-3 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2020. First-year students and upperclassmen that were interested in a certain club joined the Zoom meetings to talk with the club officers and get some general information.
Patricia Cummings, program coordinator for the Center for Student Engagement, helped organize the event. Cummings said the club fair was very successful with over 400 students in attendance.
“At our typical outdoor club fair…we might have closer to 500 [students],” Cummings said. “Four hundred [students] is a success for us, especially given the online nature of the event.”
Students attending the fair were eligible to receive prizes such as a $50 Amazon gift card and even some Scranton apparel. Clubs were also eligible to win prizes, too. Cummings said she received positive feedback from students and club leaders.
“Students were very excited about [the] prizes,” Cummings said. “Club leaders had great [one-on-one] conversations with students.”
In past years, students would walk past club tables and sign their names and not have a conversation with the club leaders. This year, students tended to stay in the Zoom meetings and talk directly to club officers.
Rachel Smith, a senior biology major with a concentration in nutrition, is president of the Biology Club on campus.
Smith thought the fair went well and was happy with the turnout for the Biology Club. She was surprised by how many students showed up and how many conversations she had.
“We had about 30 students pop in and out of our Zoom session,” Smith said. “Many of them came prepared with questions about the club and our plans for the semester.”
Smith said the club plans on holding at least two Zoom meetings this semester to keep everyone updated and informed.
James Ruff, a senior computer science and philosophy double major, is the president of the Anime Club on campus. Ruff said the club fair went well, and the Anime Club had a lot of participation from students as well.
“We had about 15 students come in, which is a number I am very happy with,” Ruff said.
The students mostly came to ask questions about the fair and see what it is about. Ruff said he wanted to make sure the students got to visit other club’s meetings as well.
“I encouraged the students to stay if they had questions or if they wanted to, but I also made it clear that they could leave to visit other clubs,” Ruff said.
The Anime Club meets every other week to discuss different anime episodes the club members watch.
Students interested in joining any of the clubs at Scranton can check them out on https://scranton.presence.io.