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Student Involvement Fair Promotes Participation, Inclusion

Hundreds of students converged on the Angell College Center ballrooms Sept. 9 with questions for more than 100 clubs and organizations at SUNY Plattsburgh’s fall Student Involvement Fair.

“I was able to find clubs that interested me that I think will meet my needs as a transfer student so I can make new friends and get involved,” said sophomore Corinna Collins. 

The Involvement Fair is held at the beginning of each semester to give students the opportunity to join clubs and organizations early in the semester. Those groups attending included the LGBTQ Student Union, Coffee House, Nutrition Club, Gospel Choir, Biology Club and many more.

Evan Bowker, a senior public relations major who is interning at the Global Education Office, said he was glad he got involved early in his college career. It allowed him to explore other parts of the world and gain leadership roles on campus.

Bowker studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, and Ningbo, China.

Bowker sat at a table to recruit students to for this fall’s 10th anniversary of Night of Nations, a talent show-style event whose goal is to create a sense of global acceptance and awareness byfeaturing students from countries all over the world.

“We all win because we are all more cultured at the end of the night,” Bowker said of Night of Nations.

Raeanna Levenson, a senior captain of the women’s rugby team, said participating with a table at the fair has improved interest and awareness for the team. The team consists of about 25 players who are taught how to play the game and then compete against other colleges in the North Country and at tournaments.

“The more diverse and accepting of each other our team is, the better we perform,” Levenson said. “Since the time I joined, I have grown so much. I have always been an outgoing person, but rugby gave me that outlet I needed to succeed today as a resident adviser and captain of the team.”

Collins said that every other club member she spoke to at the event had the same message.

“I felt like everyone I talked to wanted to help me figure out what was going to make me feel like a part of something,” she said.

Reggianie Francois, vice president of the Organization for Women of Ethnicity, said a good way to describe the purpose of her club as well as other organizations is “to show incoming and returning students the real world.”

“Everything isn’t packaged in a neat box,” she said, referring to the complex interactions students have with each other and the global community.

The Organization for Women of Ethnicity encourages people of all denominations, ethnicities and genders to attend their meetings where they discuss controversial topics to help students create a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s opinions, beliefs and backgrounds.

Collins left the event by signing up for the LGBTQ Student Union, the Plattsburgh State Red Zone, a student group that promotes school spirit at athletic events, and the Ski and Snowboard Club.

“I think I was able to find some groups that will let me express my passions throughout my time here,” Collins said. “I feel like I’m going to be able to find where I belong.”

For more information on clubs and organizations, contact Taeko Kelly, Student Association vice president of clubs and organizations, at [email protected]

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