By Jason Lin
With the start of a new semester, first-year students are flocking to campus to explore. To help newcomers to the Brooklyn College community feel more comfortable, the Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) Center hosted an Involvement Fair last Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the Student Center.
For many club leaders at the school, the fair was a means of reaching out to students who may otherwise not be aware of the ways they can connect with other students on campus. The fair also helped students find clubs that fit their interests or field of study.
“They should not be scared to join any social events. Socializing with people is very nice and friendly, like there’s no pressure and you can relax since there’s only four years on campus,” said Ayatallah Elkotby, a junior at BC.
The Involvement Fair gathered all BC clubs and student-made groups to introduce their clubs’ initiatives and features. Each floor of the Student Center was dispersed with sections of specific clubs that had similar cultures.
“Even if you feel like you’re coming here, you go to class, you go home, try to get involved as much as you can,” said Noam Abrahams, a junior at BC and the treasurer for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), which hosts their own events that bring BC students together. “There are some great people on campus, there are tons of opportunities whether it is career-based or fun-based. It can look like it is impossible to make friends, but once you start trying on campus, you’ll undoubtedly find someone who is similar to you.”
In addition to connecting students to clubs of their interest, SAIL provides educational, cultural, and social programs that enhance cultural awareness and foster unity and inclusivity. In addition, SAIL assists with budget management services that encourage fiscal responsibility. These resources allow students to be active and positive community members.
“College is all about learning, college is all about experiencing. There’s nothing that you will do here that will affect you for the rest of your life besides getting a degree […] is to have the most fun you can possibly imagine in college,” said Sofia Mariyamis, a junior at BC and the president of the BC Sustainability Club. The BC Sustainability Club centers itself on raising awareness of being sustainable and environmentally conscious both on and off campus.
The event lasted around two hours, and even at that short time, every floor was filled with both club leaders and students mingling, demonstrating SAIL’s goal of creating a welcoming atmosphere at BC.
“Don’t rush trying to find your group or people because eventually either you’ll draw to them or they’ll draw to you. And don’t necessarily feel like you don’t stand out,” said Anastasia Johnson, a junior at BC and vice president of the Korean Culture Club, which focuses on appreciating Korean music, food, and the language.
The fair’s purpose was to also showcase how fun college can be by joining a club or meeting new friends that students may have for their whole college careers. Every day, students have the opportunity to meet unique individuals since Brooklyn College is a large community home to diverse backgrounds and different hobbies. In the midst of the school year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in schoolwork, but taking breaks and making new connections are essential to one’s mental health and maintaining the energetic spirit all colleges wish to see for students.
“Go to the clubs and talk to the people because they teach you the shortcut and it just makes here more comfortable instead of just school, work, and home,” said Sade Garcia, a junior at BC and the president of the Brooklyn College Marketing Society. This club is responsible for coordinating events and working closely with administration on issues of budgeting.
As clubs packed up at the end of the event, ending their introductions to many BC students, meaningful connections were made. The Involvement Fair helped to ensure that students know this semester will be full of support and, of course, fun.