Organized to provide a promotional platform for the many student organizations at Salisbury University, the 'Activities Fair' was held in the Guerrieri Student Union on Feb. 2, 2024, marking the beginning of the Spring semester.
At tables scattered throughout the Wicomico Room, the Fireside Lounge and other parts of the GSU, leaders from a variety of student organizations advertised their respective activities. Wandering students were encouraged to sign up from table to table, incentivized with the possible benefits of being involved, pleas to try it out and even snacks or candy.
The spring semester brings new members to the SU community, giving student organizations the opportunity to expand and broaden their influence. The offerings cover a wide range of topics, hobbies and cultures, making it easy for any student to pursue interests.
Lauren Partlow, an SU senior majoring in Communications, serves as president of the Hillel club. Hillel is a Jewish cultural club, open to all students interested in learning more about Jewish religion and culture.
“This semester, we’ll probably have our hamentash and baking event, which is always our most popular event of the semester," Partlow said. "We bake cookies, just hang out and have a good time."
Members of the club also intend to host other parties, movie nights and events designed to make the next few months enjoyable. Experience from last semester has given Partlow insight into how soon these arrangements must be made.
“[We’ll] definitely plan more in advance, because with the new policies from CSIL, we realize we have to plan a lot further," she said. "So now we’re already starting to plan things for the second half of the semester, and just getting ahead of it.”
Using a large yellow board to tally opinions regarding ChatGPT AI, the Philospohy Club drew in a plethora of interested students. Levi, an SU freshman majoring in Environmental Studies, is the club's treasurer.
“On the most basic level, it’s philosophy, but it’s a lot of really broad topics; it’s mainly about thinking and encouraging people to use their critical thinking skills more," Levi said. "We have a lot of questions that we just ask you about, and it’s trying to promote discussion, trying to promote greater understanding among other people on a variety of different topics.”
One of the main events planned for the spring semester is a Philosophy Symposium, in which philosophy scholars and professors will be giving presentations, primarily related to research projects. Additionally, there are plans to provide more structure to the club itself.
“One thing we kind of want to get down is having a more concrete constitution, we figure that’s going to make it easier to have more [structure]," he said. "We are a really free-flowing club, but there have to be rules.”
Nathanael Miller, an SU senior majoring in Communications, is the president of the Starnet Society, which has now been an on-campus organization for thirty years. The club primarily focuses on science-fiction, anime, fantasy and gaming.
“So we have six events a week; we do a fantasy, sci-fi and anime night where we focus on various forms of media within those genres – the classics, critical discussion, games, and other things like that," Miller said. "We have two game nights a week where we do player vs. player board games, then cooperative game nights as well."
"And then we have a sword fighting night; one of our members makes modeled foam weapons, and it’s a contact sport styled after medieval combat.”
The heavy load of activities and events organized by the Starnet Society require a considerable amount of funds. Along with the club's many activities, they also intend to host a 30-year anniversary reunion this semester, which is why changes to the SU funding policy has presented a challenge.
“So, SU has a new funding policy that we’re having to try to navigate through," he said. "It has restrictions to try and make it so that we can more evenly distribute the money across clubs."
"Because of this, we have access to less funding than we had before, but I hope that it will help more clubs overall."
By COLIN McEVERS
Gull Life Editor
Featured image courtesy of Colin McEvers