On Aug. 31, over 90 student organizations set up shop on the Science Mall to recruit new participants and share their messages at the Purdue Fort Wayne Campus Connections Fair. Students looking to join clubs and find their place on campus lined up throughout the area to look around.
The Purdue Fort Wayne Connections Fair is an event held at the beginning of every semester as an opportunity for students to connect with local on and off campus organizations. This year, students could check in and receive a Purdue Fort Wayne tote bag to start before travelling to each table, many of which offered candy or other trinkets and toys.
One of the organizations holding a booth was the Photography Club, who are dedicated to the education and appreciation of photography.
“We are a group of creative people looking to find other creative people to appreciate the art of photography,” said club president Madison Foreman.
Like many other clubs found throughout campus, the Connections Fair is considered to be one of the best sources for sign-ups. The Photography Club ended the day with a total of 90 students registering to join.
“It’s great way to meet so many new people,” said Foreman. “We welcome people of all ability levels, so we’re an option for anyone attending.”
Not all groups attending were student organizations. Some other groups came out for a chance to make connections with the students. One group present was the Northeast Indiana chapter of the National Organization for Women.
“We’re here today to find potential new members but also to help young people register to vote,” said Chapter President Keiran O’Dowd.
NOW is “an intersectional, multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights”, and the organization can be found on Facebook. Students who stopped by their booth had the opportunity to sign up and join the chapter, register to vote, or check if their voting district had changed.
“A lot of people aren’t aware the lines are redrawn every 10 years,” O’Dowd said. “Just because you voted back in 2020, doesn’t mean you’re currently registered if your district changed.”
The Connections Fair doesn’t just benefit groups, it also allows new and returning students to find their new passion and meet others with similar interests.
One of the students in attendance was Sophia Cheng, a freshman engineering student who just moved to Fort Wayne from California. For Cheng, it was a chance for her to meet like-minded individuals and find some new friends.
“So far I only know a few people from my classes and my roommate,” she said. “I’m hoping to join a club and meet some new people.”
One of Cheng’s favorite booths to stop by was the Q Center, one of her reasonings was because they were offering various stickers as well as pronoun pins.
As for clubs to join, she ended up finding a couple that worked for her.
“I joined the Asian American club and the Table Top RPG club,” Cheng said. “I loved seeing all the clubs in one place and hearing about what each one does.”
For those who were unsure if whether the Connections Fair would be worthy of their time, Cheng recommended coming in the future.
“It’s an amazing way to find clubs that you haven’t heard of yet.”
If you missed this semester’s Connections Fair, you can find a full list of student organizations on PFW’s website.