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U. Involvement Fair proceeds on rain date

This year's Involvement Fair hosted approximately 700 tables for various Rutgers clubs and extracurricular organizations.  – Photo by Henry Wang

On Friday, Rutgers hosted its annual Involvement Fair on the College Avenue campus. 

Sabrina Selvaggio, interim associate director of campus programs, said this year’s event featured approximately 700 extracurricular tables and aimed to host 15,000 to 20,000 attendees.

Selvaggio said that planning an event of this magnitude necessitated months of planning and coordinating table rentals, water deliveries, signage, road closures and other logistics.

Though, she said the main challenge the Involvement Fair’s planning team encountered this year was moving the event from its original date on Monday to its rain date on Friday. 

“We moved forward with our rain plan, which was to hold the event on Friday, September 9,” she said. “Of course, the weather held up on Monday, but we could not take the chance of keeping the event outside where we would expect thousands of students if there was a chance of severe weather and no space big enough to shelter thousands of people if needed.”

Selvaggio said she hoped students, including non-first-years, would use the Involvement Fair as an opportunity to find new organizations to join. In interviews with The Daily Targum, student attendees and leaders from several campus organizations also offered their thoughts on participating in this year’s event.

Rebecca Raush, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and president of Green Print, said the Involvement Fair allowed students to look through a variety of clubs and imagine integrating them into their campus experience.

“There’s literally so many clubs here that you can find anything,” she said. “There’s so many people to meet and so many things to learn.”

Raush said one aspect of the event she dislikes, though, is how it took place on a day with extremely warm weather.

Madelyn Kamen, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, shared similar sentiments, saying the event usually happens on days with high temperatures. She also said the Involvement Fair’s large crowd makes it difficult to see individual tables.

Kamen said she was still able to uncover more campus clubs to become associated with such as the Girl Gains club, a pre-law fraternity and a pre-law society.

As coronavirus disease (COVID-19) regulations are scaled back, many organizations have expanded plans for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Raush said that last year, Green Print’s goal was to maintain its membership as an environmental magazine. This year, she hopes to use her club’s budget to fund trips to environmental reservations and parks.

Michelle O’Leary, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and vice president of the Student Organized Rutgers Against Hunger, said the COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on their club’s operations as their club collaborates with the Rutgers Student Food Pantry and other local organizations that combat food insecurity.

“One of the main organizations that we work with was actually closed, and so we weren’t able to go in person and volunteer," she said. “But we’re hoping that as (COVID-19) scales back, we’re hoping to get back in there.”

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