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Art by Nicole Freewalt

Emma Coffey ~ Staff Writer

     The spring organization fair at the University of Lynchburg will be held on Monday, Feb. 10, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., on the third floor of Drysdale in the West Room. According to Deborah Brown, the Coordinator for Student Engagement and Club/Organization Development, there will be over 30 organizations participating in the fair. 

     The organization fair is held twice a year, once in the fall and another at the beginning of the spring semester. Brown said that the purpose of the fair is to give student organizations an opportunity to promote their organization’s purpose and philanthropy, and bring in new members. She also said it is a chance to view and talk with student leaders and find an organization that matches students’ passions and interests.

     Brown said that a Google Form is sent out a couple of weeks before the event in order for there to be enough tables for the represented organizations. Groups that are at this event will have an hour to set up and be ready for the beginning of the fair.

     According to Brown, being involved on campus is important for all students and an important part of their overall college experience. She said it is also an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and find their passions. Brown also said that students can gain leadership roles, build communication skills, learn budgeting for events, and how to seek additional funding.

     Brown said to new participants of the fair, “Be prepared to answer questions and have handouts of meeting times and locations or PowerPoint scrolling with photos and information about their organization.”

     Senior Leah Eldred, President of Lynchburg Christian Fellowship, said, “Lynchburg Christian Fellowship is a small group of students who meet on Wednesday evenings to relax mid-week, talk and learn about Jesus and our faith, eat some snacks, and just spend time together and have fun by playing games. Students in the group lead Bible study every week, and these give rise to awesome discussions. While we meet once a week, we also work to have informal gatherings at Chick-Fil-A, meet for fun movie nights, and have special events such as lock-ins.”

     According to Eldred, the organization fair helps the club because it lets other students know about the club’s existence and their eagerness to welcome new faces. She said that because the group is relatively small, it usually goes unnoticed and the organization fair is helpful in raising awareness. 

     Eldred said that students should join because it is a space that allows students to be themselves without any fear of judgement. According to her, the club loves to have fun and share their days with friends during LCF. Eldred said, “Personally, I gained life-long friends, confidence, and a place where I can relax, have fun, and be myself with other like-minded people. We’re all constantly learning from each other in all aspects, while also having fun playing games and talking.”

     Eldred also said, “Just be open-minded about the various clubs and organizations there. It can be overwhelming because there are so many available, but it’s really important to go around to each one and listen to the spiel so that you’re aware of all your options. It’s important to remember that you can always join a club mid-semester, and that there’s no real pressure to sign up at the organization fair.” 

     Sophomore Madison Beneux, Secretary of the Art Club, said that the Art Club is meant, “to create a warm and friendly environment for people of all levels of skill to come together and do art projects such as sketching, painting, and other forms of art.”

     According to her, the organization club helps promote the club to the general campus population and attempt to grow their membership. Beneux said that students should join the club because it is a low commitment, low-stress environment that allows one to escape the stress of school every week. She also said that students can make new friends and grow in their artistic abilities. 

     Beneux said, “Go to as many tables as possible. If you are potentially interested, then sign up for the email list.”

     Senior Christine Moore said that she has been to past fairs before and they have been a bit stressful. According to Moore, she wants more people to join the Museum Studies Club to help gain interest in the minor as well as joining the Museum Studies Honor Society. She said, “Keep an open mind. You might realize you can join something and get a lot out of it.”

     Brown also said, “Come out and walk around the tables and talk with the student leaders running them. Have fun, sign up that you are interested in more information from multiple groups, go to their meetings, and find your place to serve. You will not regret it.”