RU Club Fair offers 'something for everyone'
A sea of red blanketed Heth Lawn on Aug. 29 as hundreds of Highlanders participated in Radford University's Club Fair 2014.
Both new and returning students explored tents and tables, where representatives of nearly 200 RU student organizations answered questions and distributed information. Fifteen RU offices and departments also participated, along with 31 local businesses.
"This is our biggest Club Fair to date," said John Leonard, assistant director of student activities/involvement. "More student organizations and businesses signed up than ever before."
Towering over the crowd was a spectacle new to the annual event – a zip line. Curious eyes scanned up and down the inclined cable, which was assembled in front of McConnell Library. Brave participants shrieked with excitement as they zipped from about 25 feet up, down the 200-foot line.
Standing toward the front of the long line was Christiansburg freshman Chris Hollie. Hollie said he'd never been on a zip line before, and when he saw it on campus Friday afternoon, "First, I was like, is that really a zip line?" Hollie said.
"Second, I thought it looked like a lot of fun," he added.
Hollie, who had already visited a few tables, said he was interested in Ultimate Frisbee.
"Yea, there's a club for that," he said. "There's a lot of clubs here."
Back on the ground, students also enjoyed free pizza from Papa John's and Domino's as they scoured hundreds of booths set up along walking paths.
Freshman Natalie Shelton of Smith Mountain Lake said she was surprised by the number of clubs RU offers.
"I think it's awesome that they do this," Shetlon said. "It makes the transition easier. There are so many opportunities here."
Shelton, who was hovering around the row of recreation club tables, said she's also interested in Young Life and RU Outdoors.
Radford offers approximately 250 clubs and organizations, representing the student body's wide range of social, educational and recreational interests.
Students with an affinity for the outdoors, like Shelton, might gravitate toward The Wildlife Society or the Environmental Club. Those looking to hit the airwaves could join the Amateur Radio Club.
There are dozens of sororities and fraternities and several sports interest groups, such as Men's Volleyball Club and Women's Ultimate Frisbee.
Interested in improv? RU's got a club for that, too.
At Club Fair 2014, "there is something for everyone," Shelton added.
Conveniently, if students don't find a club or organization that piques their curiosity, they can choose to start a group of their own.
Longtime freshmen friends Maddy Lesman and Cheyenne Reuter, both of Star City, browsed CD selections on the WVRU radio station booth.
"Anything to do with music," Reuter responded when asked what club she might become involved in at RU.
Lesman and Reuter said they were required through their University 100 class to attend the event. The class, like the Club Fair, helps students engage in campus happenings. Student involvement, research shows, is vital to student retention.