The 2015-2016 school year kicked off with another successful Activities Fair on Friday, Sept. 4 sponsored by the Council of Student Organizations. Over 100 clubs, organizations, departments and sports teams participated in the event, which took place on the Barone Campus Center green and the traffic circle.

As always, the fair provided a diverse look at the variety of extracurriculars at Fairfield.

“I loved the Activities Fair. It really opened my eyes to how much Fairfield really has to offer,” Natasha Seifried ’19 said.

Junior Deirdre McElroy added, “I liked how [the Activities Fair] brings everything Fairfield offers to one place, so people who are interested in getting involved can see everything that goes on at Fairfield.’

McElroy, who attended Friday’s Activities Fair for the third time as a Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network fellow and as a member of the Students for Social Justice Executive Board, reflected on how exciting it was to see so many new faces. “It was really exciting to kind of try and show new freshmen how many cool opportunities and experiences there are at Fairfield.”

New clubs present at the fair included the Boxing Club, a club where participants get into shape, learn self defense and the basics of boxing; The League, a League of Legends club; and Wounded Warrior Project. Freshman Stephen Dierks, president of Fairfield’s Wounded Warrior Project chapter, found the fair to be a successful experience for the new club. “The Activities Fair was a big hit. Over 225 people signed up.”

Dierks started the Fairfield chapter of Wounded Warrior Project because he saw an area underrepresented by the Fairfield community. “I started the Wounded Warrior Project because I realized there weren’t any Fairfield clubs or organizations that focused on helping veterans. I have always felt strongly about helping veterans because they sacrifice their lives for us and for this country and are true heroes,” he said.

After a year long approval process, consisting of various meetings requirements, the club was approved, making the Activities Fair its official debut. For Dierks, the Activities Fair was successful for both the club and himself: “I am beyond amazed and inspired by the huge amount of support myself and the organization has received. I am so happy that I am able to make a difference and I am ready to get to work.”

Also new to the Activities Fair this year was the presence of outside vendors such as Uber, and fitness centers such as ZenRide and Pure Barre Fairfield. According to Mackenzie McBurney ‘16, COSO vice-chair, the inclusion of these outside vendors was, in part, due to the construction of the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex.

Due to the construction of the RecPlex, Dean Donoghue, along with the Recreation Department, had these fitness vendors come in to allow students to explore other options in the area to help them stay fit and active this year, “McBurney said.

For McElroy, this inclusion was more than welcome. “I think that it was great that there were outside vendors because it gave students an opportunity to get to know the many opportunities there are outside of [campus], especially when it comes to fitness because the RecPlex is, for the most part, out of commission.”

The changes made to the Activities Fair paid off as upperclassmen joined the hundreds of first-year students flocking the event.

We had almost 700 freshmen swipe in [for FYE credit], so with the addition of upperclassmen, attendance could have been close to 1200 people,” McBurney said.

While the Activities Fair may be evolving, its tradition of inclusiveness has stayed the same.

“My favorite part of the experience is to just put myself out there and get involved in as much as my schedule allowed,” said Seifried, who signed up for six clubs. She added, You’re only in college for so long, might as well make the best of it.

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