By Ariel Steinsaltz
Students attended the Student Involvement Fair on Feb. 4 in the Brower Student Center from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to check out the different clubs and student organizations available on campus.
The fair featured a variety of student organizations, including Student Government, the NAACP, TCNJ Emergency Medical Services, the Outdoors Club, the Italian Club and the Leadership Development Program. Various fraternities, sororities and club sports also represented themselves at the event.
Also in attendance was the Order of the Nose Biting Teacups, the College’s official Harry Potter Club. Sara Davidson, a junior communication studies major and president of the club, promoted her organization to all students at the fair.
“(The club is) a place for people who come from all different walks of life and come together for their love of J.K. Rowling’s magical series,” Davidson said.
The club also includes activities such as crafting, competitions and fundraising. Its meetings take place on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. in the Social Sciences Building Room 225.
“It’s basically a big family, at least that’s what we try to do,” Davidson said. “It’s a fun time.”
Another club present at the fair was Student United Way, an organization dedicated to participating in community service throughout the Trenton-Mercer area. Its volunteer activities include dog walking and the PB&J Race, an annual event where several teams compete to make as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as possible to donate to the community, according to Chris Masusock, a junior business management major and president of the organization.
At another booth, students represented the Planned Parenthood Generation Action, a project of Planned Parenthood Action Plan with a branch at the College.
“Our mission is to engage and educate the TCNJ community about sexual health, reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood through meetings, events, service and political activism,” said Alyssa Esposito, a senior English and secondary education dual major and president of PPGA at the College.
Students could also visit a martial arts club at the fair, Aikido.
“(Aikido) focused more on redirecting your opponents and defeating them before they can hurt you,” said Nicole Stuebben, a second-year graduate student at the College and an Aikido club member. “One of our senseis is 6 foot 2 and our shortest members are 4 foot 11 and they can flip him.”
Also at the fair was the Black Student Union, which promoted both awareness and education of black culture on campus. Stahlhelm Damus, a sophomore chemistry major and secretary of the organization, stated the importance of creating a positive and productive and safe space that allows everyone to de-stress and experience multicultural programming and events.
Many fraternities, sororities and other Greek Life groups were also at the fair.
“Greek Life has become a very big part of the TCNJ community,” said Sabrina Mazahreh, a junior biology major and vice president of the Inter-Greek Council. “It’s a really important part for some people … if they feel like they’re missing something in the TCNJ experience.”
In the past, the involvement fair has generally been held on Wednesday afternoons rather than on Monday nights.
“We were unable to reserve a space large enough for us during the day, so we picked Monday night,” Assistant Director of Student Affairs Jessica Claar said. “(We) thought it was a great way to kick off the week. The Spring Involvement Fair is really a good way to get a good idea of life on campus.”
Dave Conner, the director of Student Involvement, was pleased with the student turnout at the event.
“The number of students who came out after their class got out is really awesome, even more than we had expected,” he said.
One of the students who went to the fair was Cassie Oleniacz, a freshman math major. She enjoyed learning about the different ways to get involved on campus.
“I thought that the variety of clubs gives TCNJ an inclusive environment,” she said.
Nick Cernera, a junior philosophy and math double major, felt positive after attending the fair.
“(It was) fun and engaging and I found a number of clubs I’m interested in joining,” he said.