Photo: Carter Oswood
From professional fraternities to writer’s circles, from student government to salsa dancing, the Drake activities fair had it all. Whether a student wants to attend service events, help the environment, join an intramural team or be a DJ, one can find exactly what they’re looking for in more than 160 student organizations. On Aug. 31, students gathered in the hot, overcrowded space of Upper Olmsted to find where they fit-in on campus.
First-year Julianne Klampe, an international relations major, came to the activities fair to find clubs that satisfied her political interests. She migrated towards groups such as Drake Democrats, Student Senate and Mock Trial, but also felt drawn to the Drake Environmental Action League and Drake Women’s Lacrosse.
“I was surprised by how many groups there were and how everybody here seems like they really participate in a lot of activities,” Klampe said. “I think it’s because they make it easy to go [to meetings], they make it very manageable to be involved.”
First-year Joe Snee was impressed by Drake’s level of commitment to serving it’s community and world as a whole, specifically noting Up ‘til Dawn, a group of college students dedicated to raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help kids with pediatric cancer and other diseases.
Snee also admitted he had come to this year’s activities fair in hopes of getting a lot of free stuff, and he surely was not disappointed. Organizations’ handed out a variety of free items including candy, Coke bottles, T-shirts, notepads, water bottles, stress balls, CD’s and even chocolate vaginas.
Diversity Interest Senator Tanaya Thomas spent her time at the activities fair working at the Student Senate booth, but was open to looking into new activities. A sophomore English major, Thomas has been involved in the Coalition of Black Students, Students for Women’s Issues and Writers Circle since her first year at Drake. Coming into this year, however, Thomas wanted to expand her horizons and she was elected for a position on Student Senate. She also has plans to form a poetry troupe for students interested in the provocative “slam” genre.
Thomas got involved in her first year by “signing up for everything possible and going to all the meetings.” She believes the activities fair is a great resource for students, especially first-years, through she feels that “students feel pressured to join a lot of activities when it’s okay to just join one or two organizations and put all of your efforts into them.”
Though the activities fair helps new students see what’s available on campus, it also has the tendency to overstimulate first-year students. Both Snee and Klampe admitted that even though they were excited by the variety of activities, they felt somewhat “overwhelmed.”
Thomas said that first-year students should try new things even if they aren’t going to join everything they show up to.
“The best way to find you’re niche on campus is to be open,” Thomas said. “I’ve made so many friends by going to meetings and events, even if I didn’t decide to join.”