At least one new group, a fraternity, came out to rally student interest at the Clubs and Societies Fair hosted by the St. Thomas University Students’ Union Thursday.
Psi Lambda Phi vice-president Kaley Etheridge said the fair is one of the most important events of the school year.
“You have to reach out to students on campus,” he said. “A lot of them are concerned about academic things, like graduating on time; and with traditional college life, like drinking and socializing.”
He said the Clubs and Societies Fair, and his fraternity, can help give students something else to focus on.
Over 20 clubs and societies set up tables and booths on the university’s lower courtyard, a new location that was chosen by organizer and STUSU vice-president administration Ben Graham due to congestion in it’s usual location in James Dunn Hall.
“The fair allows people to find common interests amongst their peers, as well as it helps people find interests and activities that maybe they weren’t aware of,” Graham said.
Booths included a curling club, the sexuality support group Spectrum, the sorority Pi Alpha Gamma and the Magic the Gathering Club, which Etheridge is president of.
Earlier this month, the fraternity held several events across the city, including a cafe crawl, an outing to a STU hockey game, and an election-night open house. Another round of promotional events will come early in second semester, when recruitment begins again.
“We’ve worked really hard to get this thing off the ground,” Etheridge said. “We’ve been working on it since March, so things are coming together now.”
He said he isn’t thinking too much about whether the club will be ratified. He said the fraternity’s over-30-page constitution is thorough and the group has managed its finances well so far.
“We are hoping for this first semester when we submit our budget we can be supplemented a little bit by both student unions, because the up-front costs for this are very expensive.”
STUSU has a fund of $6,000 to aid clubs and societies on campus. Last year, over a quarter of that fund went unspent. The fund was not changed for this year.
“It comes down to whether they choose to participate in events that require funding,” Graham said. “At the end of the day it’s up to the clubs and societies what their participation level is.”
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