As in-person classes resumed, campus was flooded with students trying to get a taste of what college was truly like: walking between the manicured flower beds, couples sprawled on the lawn, students spilling from lecture halls and lines forming at the Starbucks in the campus store. Alongside this return to semi-normalcy, the Get Involved Fair returned in the A. Ray Olpin Union Plaza from Sept. 1-3.
University of Utah students clustered around tables to learn of the plethora of activities and extracurriculars that awaited them. With over 600 activities ranging from the Anime Club to the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, students had many options.
Clubs, who often elected or were required to hold events online during the 2020-2021 due to the high rate of COVID-19 transmission without the presence of a vaccine yet, are now trying their hand at recruiting in person again.
Junior Alex Espinoza, the president of HOSA – Future Health Professionals, an international student organization that aims to provide career building opportunities within the healthcare field, was just one leader at the fair.
“Last year we did a bunch of Zoom meetings and stuff. Honestly, not a bunch of students participated in that. I mean, no one wants to go to Zoom meetings and just look at slideshows,” Espinoza said.
However, for those new to campus, seeing all the options at once could be a lot.
“I feel like it’s a little bit overwhelming because there’s like, so many things around here, but it’s nice to know there are so many things to join,” said freshman Helena Vu.
The delta variant of COVID-19 is still a concern and many organizations and clubs have put contingency plans into place, just in case things get sent online again.
“I think with last semester being online, we have a pretty set plan of what we’ll do if we need to move online again,” said Jessica Bruns, a junior in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. “We’ve got experience with doing it before so I think we’re well prepared to do it again.”
After taking a gap year, junior Dawson Wilcox felt welcomed back to campus with many pathways to choose from.
“I was really excited to come back to school,” he said. “[And to] get involved again in the clubs. We weren’t very active last year. It seems like there’s pretty good turnout for different folks.”