Fair offers a taste of student groups

Tracy Ellingson

The two women giggled nervously as they extended their hands. “Go for it,” said a man with dark glasses, “you need one.”
Freshmen Kate Nordstrum and Marnie McLaughlin snapped up a couple homemade brownies. “They were made by the sweet old ladies at our church,” said the man, a member of the Campus Christian Fellowship. The ministry group was one of about 100 student organizations seeking new members Wednesday at the Student Activities Fair in Coffman Memorial Union.
The fair, sponsored by the Campus Involvement Center, served the same purpose it has for about the past 20 years — to introduce new students to various groups and give them a chance to get involved. This year live music, skits and a central PA system, employed by recruiters to draw attention to their tables, served to heighten the usually upbeat atmosphere.
A second activities fair takes place today at the St. Paul Student Center.
Nordstrum and McLaughlin picked up some literature on the ministry and moved to the next row of tables after finishing their brownies, and after Nordstrum signed her name to the ministry’s recruitment list. “I think I’ll probably go to one of the meetings,” Nordstrum said.
The pair were just two of the hundreds of students who browsed among tables covered with brochures, sign-up sheets and food.
McLaughlin said she stopped by the fair to find out more about intramural sports. Sports clubs are usually the biggest attraction for fair attendees said Conrad Jones, a Campus Involvement Center consultant.
But McLaughlin was disappointed that there were not more clubs involving outdoor activities, such as hiking.
After completing their tour of the fair, McLaughlin and Nordstrum sat down and looked over their loot, which included several colorful fliers.
Nordstrum said the most consistent recruiters did the best job of getting their names out to curious students. “When people are really outgoing, when they hand you stuff, you really have to take it and maybe you’ll look at it later,” Nordstrum said.
McLaughlin agreed and added that the food helped draw her interest, though she said the way to her heart isn’t through her stomach.