Club Fair highlights campus diversity, student involvement
As the number of clubs and organizations at Radford University continues to skyrocket, so does the annual festival that puts them on large-scale display.
Club Fair, held on Sept. 2, saw a high percent of the university's more than 270-plus clubs and organizations participate. Dozens of informational booths covered Moffett Lawn where thousands of students explored the offerings, including live music, free giveaways and food. Others chose to observe the fair from above ground on the rock-climbing wall and Ferris wheel.
Several local businesses also participated as Radford continues to encourage students to connect with the surrounding community.
Radford's number of clubs and organizations has jumped from about 250 in fall 2015 to 276 in fall 2016, said John Leonard, assistant director for Student Activities/Student Involvement.
New additions to this year's lineup include the Highlander Step Team, College Mentors for Kids, Radford Climbing Club, Low Key Men's a Capella, Highlander Lutherans, Pre-Med Association, Students for Humanity and the LEAD Scholar Student Organization.
Such a diverse range of offerings reflects Radford's evolving campus community.
"With the changing population and growing diversity at Radford University, we need to find homes for more and more students," Leonard explained.
Students who do not find a club or organization that fits their interests can easily create their own through the Student Activities office, Leonard added.
"Radford is really great about personalizing the student experience and helping them own their own path," he said.
Many students reflected on Club Fair and the impact being involved on campus has had on their Radford University experience:
- Ricky Miller, Biology (pre-med), Senior, Founder and President of Pre-Med Association
“The Pre-Med Association takes club members on medical tours and hosts guest speakers, such as physician assistants and admissions counselors from other schools. For example, in November, a medical tour with West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is planned.”
“The other day a professor asked how many students were interested in pre-med, and about 40 people raised their hand. Currently, we have 20 members in the Pre-Med Association, which is a good number for just starting up.”
- Alexander Burnley, English, Sophomore, Editor-in-chief at Whim (Radford's Internet magazine)
“The heart and soul of Radford University is student media. To get true information on what is going on, you should look to the things we are publishing on Whim. It is a student’s eye on campus life.”
“My main goal is to expand knowledge of Whim as well as the other student media outlets. I hope to find more people who would be interested in working with us as well as submitting articles.”
“At Whim, we accept articles and photographs from the student body and give them an outlet that the entire campus can see. Whim publishes weekly so that we can stay up-to-date on current events.”
- Jake Carroll, Chemistry, Senior, President of the Triathlon Club
“The club is not all about triathlons. We start off with a bunch of 5Ks and some smaller runs and swims. As the year goes along, we then build up to triathlons and more advanced runs.
“There is a workout once a day. We either go to Foster’s gym or go on runs to Wildwood and Bisset parks. We try to keep it local, but we are open to anything.”
- Sara Pringle, Criminal Justice, Sophomore, Redcoats (Equestrian Team)
"My favorite part about Club Fair is the opportunity to show the student body what Radford has to offer in every aspect. It's also a good opportunity to recruit new people to our team."
"Being involved with the Redcoats has given me confidence in going out and meeting new people and also having friends that I can look to if I have problems with school and life."
"I would recommend freshmen get involved because it allows you to make friends with students who share the same interests as you. The older students tend to take freshmen under their wing and show them the ropes."
- Kaitlyn Julien, Communications, Senior, Lead Peer Instructor with UNIV100 (University 100), Panhellenic Council President, Vice President II – New Member Coordinator for Zeta Tau Alpha
"I teach UNIV100 because I loved it myself and wanted to help new students adjust to Radford. Similar to UNIV100 is why I wanted to be ZTA's VPII; I want to make new members feel welcome and fall in love with ZTA like I have by learning about our history and the values that make us the women we are. I took on the role of Panhellenic president because I wanted to impact our Greek community at a higher level and work with the wonderful women that make up the sororities. "
"My favorite thing about Club Fair is seeing every club/organization filled with passion and excitement to share about their purpose. I love watching students interact and want to get involved, too."
"Being involved at Radford has changed my experience so much. I originally wasn't sure if I wanted to stay at Radford all four years. However, after getting involved with Greek Life and New Student Programs, I couldn't see myself anywhere else. I have been able to take my experiences and apply them to life, and I know that my leadership in these organizations will help me in the real world. Being involved is where you make your friends and find your home at Radford. You learn so many skills from clubs/organizations that will help you excel in life."