Activities Fair encourages Willamette students to engage in campus life

Colored tablecloths and animated introductions sprinkled the Quad recently as the annual Activities Fair invited students to get involved on campus and engage in the wide variety of organizations offered at Willamette.

Club participants say the fair is a great way to gain membership and raise awareness about all the goings-on at Willamette — not to mention the benefits for individuals involved in co-curriculars.

The perks of involvement

Beth Dittman, assistant director of student activities, calls the fair "a great way to connect to the vast and diverse co-curricular community at WU."

"Based on national data and research findings in this area, students who are involved on campus generally have a more positive experience and are more successful academically," she says.

"We have more than 100 student organizations participating from ten categories: multicultural, religious, service and support, social, sports and recreation, academic, performing arts, Greek, honorary and media."

The variety of activities provide many ways for students to learn about leadership, diversity and communication — helping them at Willamette and in their future careers.

A diverse spectacle

Whether they are sharing their academic studies with the community, committing hours to service or learning others' perspectives through social events, all the organizations live the Willamette motto: "Not unto ourselves alone are we born."

Tyler Runyon '11, a biology major and president of Willamette Emergency Medical Services (WEMS), says that volunteering as an EMT is a great way to get hands-on experience while helping Bearcats in need. WEMS provides quick response emergency medical care to students.

Chemistry Club does combustion demonstrations at local schools to get children excited about science. "We get to reach out to the Salem community as well as meet students from other disciplines with similar interests," chemistry major Charlotte Osborne '11 says.

Mortar Board, an upperclassman honor society that focuses on service, leadership and scholarship, serves others by providing an academic resource, says Victoria Mayfield '11, an exercise science major. "Mortar Board helps you find students who are as equally driven as you are," she says.

According to English majors Isabella Guida '12 and Angela Boston '12, The Chrysalis literary magazine is a critical piece of the Willamette puzzle. "We get to show off Willamette's literary and artistic talent once a year, while also creating a diverse, talented lit community," Guida says.

"It's easy for writers to miss each other in passing," Boston adds. "We bring them together, so that doesn't happen."

Something for everyone

The Activities Fair allows students to engage in any of these clubs — or the 96 others — and to get their proverbial feet wet in the Willamette puddle.

"Students who attend the fair are sure to find a way to connect with people who they are similar to, as well as stretch themselves by associating with people who are different from them," Dittman says.

Marissa Bertucci '13, an English and African studies major, says the fair gave her new perspective on the dynamics of Willamette in the Salem community.

"It shows that living within the ‘Willamette bubble' actually presents us with amazing opportunities to create organizations and in turn, reach outside of the bubble."

If you missed out on the fair, you still have a chance to get involved. Look for the Activities Fair II in the spring, and the Office of Student Activities welcomes email year-round regarding questions about student involvement.