The Club Fair was just the beginning for club meetings

Allie Bunn

As school activities are opening back up this year, clubs and interest groups are able to resume student engagement. After a year off, the Oct. 18 Club Fair kicked off the 2021-2022 school year’s club events and activities and received an overwhelming amount of participation from students eager to get involved once again. Senior Hana Jindra says, “The fair was very loud and full of enthusiasm. People were very excited to join new clubs.”

From the Sailing Club to the Sustainability Committee to the Glee Club, Bellarmine has over 50 clubs spanning from service to special interests. The Club Fair allowed clubs to physically congregate, increasing their visibility to prospective members. Maren Jones, co-leader of the Amateur Hiking Club, says, “The club fair was very good. All three of my clubs got over 50 sign ups.” The Hiking Club specifically recruited an overwhelming number of members and embarked on their first hike. 

Other clubs found great success from the Club Fair as well. Toni Spellacy, co-leader of the Baking Club, says, “Baking Club just had our first meeting, and it was great! Can’t wait for more meetings to come.” Baking Club kicked off the year with Cake month, and as a club dedicated to service and personal enjoyment, members brought baking supplies to donate to St. Leo’s Food Bank and cake to enjoy with the club. 

The ability to physically congregate and visually showcase the vision of each club allowed clubs to fully express their intentions so students would truly know what they stood for. Ashlyn Lee, leader of the K9 Training Club says, “People were very interested K9 club and asked what the purpose of it was. I was able to explain to interested students what our mission was and recruit members.” Their mission, in fact, is to train and socialize dogs together, building the K9 community. 

However, some clubs were not granted the same level of exposure to students. Because of COVID precautions, a few clubs were moved out of the Campus Center to other buildings on campus, such as Father Weber Hall. Sophia Ehret, co-leader of the Baking Club, says, “I felt bad for the clubs who were moved to other buildings because they did not have a fair chance to recruit members. Many students, including myself, didn’t want to walk all the way across campus to check out a club I didn’t know anything about.” This left these clubs with an unfair disadvantage, decreasing their level of recruitment. 

Despite its great success, a downfall of the club fair was its hindrance of club activities in the beginning of the year. Although Maren Jones loved the club fair, she said, “I just wish that club fair was earlier in the year because I feel like we are getting a late start”. Many clubs cannot get started in the beginning of the year because they have to wait a month and a half to kick off club activities and service projects. This causes clubs to lose the momentum they gained from the year prior which decreases their overall productivity and impact each year. 

Despite having to start from scratch every year, Bellarmine clubs found major success from the Club Fair. Kelen Tamurian, leader of the Simply Enough club that focuses on mental health, said, “It was really fun to be able to make a poster and have people physically see it and sign up in person. It was so great to actually talk to people about my club and get to know their personal interests and why they would be interested.”

At any rate, this fall’s club fair was a major success, and Bellarmine clubs are enthusiastic about the year ahead. Now that school is back in-person, students have the opportunity to make great strides in activities and events at school and in the community beyond.