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By Felicia Krieg
The spring Student Involvement Fair brought nearly 100 extracurricular clubs and organizations to the Angell College Center, giving the SUNY Plattsburgh community a glimpse at opportunities as varied as the campus itself.
The Feb. 12 event included groups ranging from the SUNY Plattsburgh Animation Club, Club Caribbean and Biketopia to Cardinalette Kickline and the Student Managed Investment Fund.
The event is held each semester to give students easy access to information about extracurricular activities and Greek organizations.
“Those who get involved on campus have the amazing opportunity to meet other students with the same interests and find their niche on campus,” said Taeko Kelly ‘17, vice president for clubs and organizations.
“Clubs and organizations also provide great leadership opportunities. Some even allow members to make networking connections beyond campus.”
Famous Tillman, a senior political science major, is the treasurer of the LGBTQ Club.
The club caters to students who can benefit greatly from being part of a close-knit organization, he said.
“It allows people to find their community and that translates to the real world.”
Getting involved in campus organizations can help boost students’ confidence and sense of self-worth, he added.
“Before I joined this group, I was really quiet and didn’t talk in class.”
But once he started going to meetings and participating in club operations, he had the courage to participate more in the classroom and eventually take a leadership role in the LGBTQ Club.
“I got involved because I felt that it was important to find more opportunities than what is just in the classroom.” — Andra Parness
Phuong Ta, a freshman studio art major, said she went to the Student Involvement Fair because she wants to start enriching her college experience through extracurricular activities early on in her time at Plattsburgh.
“It’s the most crucial part of college life,” Ta said of membership in student clubs and organizations. “There’s no point in studying all day with no clubs.”
She signed up for the Community Service Club while at the Student Involvement Fair.
Tabling on behalf of that organization was Gordon Eger ’17, the club’s president.
“It helps with people’s social lives,” he said of student organizations. “You meet new people … It keeps you busy.”
During the fall 2015 semester, Community Service Club helped with Trick or Treat on Safety Street, a Halloween activity for local children, and volunteered at the Elmore SPCA, helping to clean the Plattsburgh area animal shelter.
“We advise people to bring their friends along and have fun.”
This semester, Eger is looking to find volunteer opportunities in area homeless shelters and veterans’ associations.
The Council for Exceptional Children at SUNY Plattsburgh, modeled after the national organization, aims to improve the educational outcomes for children with disabilities.
Co-president Andra Parness, a sophomore, said her work in the club has helped prepare her for a future career in early childhood special education.
“I got involved because I felt that it was important to find more opportunities than what is just in the classroom,” she said.
The Council for Exceptional Children is one of many clubs on campus that compliments one of SUNY Plattsburgh’s majors. Others include the Biology Club, American Marketing Association, Criminal Justice Club and Cardinal PR, a student-led public relations firm.
Carson Drake ’16, an environmental science major, went to the event with members of his fraternity, Phi Mu Delta.
Clubs, fraternities and sororities give students an outlet to grow and better themselves, Drake said.
He only recently become interested in student clubs.
“I think I missed out on a lot of experiences I never would have done before,” he said, adding that it’s never too early to start joining clubs and organizations as a student.
Additional Involvement Fair photos can be found at our Involvement Fair Spring '16 Facebook Photo Gallery (no login required to view the photos).
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