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November 15, 2017

Student Activity Expo a success for RSOs

Evan Sahagian / Collegian Staff

Over 200 registered student organizations flocked to the Spring Student Activity Expo in hopes of attracting new members who were looking to get more involved in life on campus.

Organizations included fraternities and sororities, club sports, theatrical organizations, dance teams, political organizations, and volunteer organizations, as well as countless others.

Justin Mills, the president of the Ballroom Dancing Club, was excited to be at the expo representing his club.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Every year, we run out of flyers, we have like 100 names on our email list. Honestly, I could not ask for more from this thing.”

He added that they do have other ways of recruiting, such as a table in the campus center and exhibitions throughout the year in addition to having a table at the expo.

“We table in the campus center like a lot of groups, usually for the first few weeks of the semester,” Mills said. “We try and make our tryouts every year as publicized as possible, and we also have a lot of little demonstrations, performances, things like that around campus.”

For other groups, however, this is the only time during the semester that they have access to such a large potential membership.

The Table Tennis Club has both a competitive and recreational side, but fairly little publicity other than their table at the Student Activity Expo.

“I think it’s fairly effective,” said Treasurer Alec Slepchuk. “Last year we got a lot of signatures, but I think we had a better spot [next to the door].”

Slepchuk said that this event was more effective in gathering the membership of casual table tennis players, “like the people who just go down and play in the basement.” He said that more experienced players, though, would most likely seek them out online if they were truly committed to playing competitively.

“I think people who want to play table tennis or are good at table tennis will seek out where to play table tennis, so I think that’s a big part of it,” said Evan Hill, president of the club.

Among the noise and wide selection of clubs to choose from, it was important for clubs to have a defining characteristic to make them stand out from the pack. Lacking a poster, it was hard for Slepchuk and Hill to get the attention of passersby. The Ballroom Dance Club, on the other hand, used human curiosity to help them draw people to their table.

“I feel like ballroom dance isn’t really your everyday thing, so it really gets people’s attention. When we see that spark of interest, we get them to talk and give them a flyer, and it works pretty well,” Lewis said.

Mills said that it also helped to be very outgoing and talk to every student that walks by.

“The people on our team are incredibly friendly, and we will literally harass any person that walks by, and get them over here to talk to them, and we try to engage them that way,” he said.

Pat Hoff can be reached at pphoff@student.umass.edu.

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