Despite a 90 percent humidity index and threats of rain, representatives from over 100 student organizations and university departments participated in SpiderFest on Thursday in the University Forum.
The event was one of many during Welcome Week, the period between Aug. 24 and Sept. 7, dedicated to help students connect to campus life and become involved Spiders. SpiderBoard began planning for the event last spring and continued through the summer. The group now works through the Center for Student Involvement, formerly known as the Student Activities Office.
"I think that this event improves each and every year. We continued the changes from last year that we found successful, and overall I think the event itself was very successful," said Jillian Ertel, SpiderBoard chairperson of campus traditions.
Because of inclement weather, the event time changed to 6-8 p.m. instead of 5-8 p.m. In the end, 850 students attended, according to SpiderBoard attendance records.
The groups who performed were Eight Left Feet, the Middle East Club, Ngoma Dance Company and members from the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
During the event, members from different campus organizations spoke to students about the purpose and goals of their organization in efforts to get more people to join. Groups included everything from American Chemical Society, an academic organization focused on exposing students to career options in chemistry, to Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity.
"I think SpiderFest is a great opportunity for our organization. People got to meet our current officers and members and ask questions. It's important for us to reach out to people in person and not just on Facebook or email," Emmy Morse, president of APO, said.
The platform allowed newer organizations, such as the UR Photography Club, to reach prospective members. The club has been on campus for two years now. Color-coordinated in black UR Photography t-shirts, five of its members tabled to recruit more members.
"As a newer organization we are looking to increase our members and hopefully partner with other organizations on campus," said Liang-Yun Chung, co-president of UR Photography. "We want everyone to join, even if they don't have a really nice camera. We want to focus on how to take a good picture without a really expensive camera. Sometimes it's simple things like the angle that make a really good photo."
While some students walked around signing up for organizations, others dressed up in large sunglasses and top hats to take pictures at the photo booth stand. This year's SpiderFest also included both a rock climbing wall and finger pop stand.
Contact reporter Eunice Brunskine at firstname.lastname@example.org
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