Union Expo and Activities Carnival hosts hundreds of clubs

The Kansas State Activities Fair at the Student Union in Manhattan, Kan. on Aug. 24, 2017. (Justin Wright | The Collegian)

Students explored the many opportunities the K-State campus has to offer while also enjoying music, balloon animals and free cotton candy as over 200 organizations came together in the Student Union on Thursday to recruit new members at Kansas State’s Union Expo and Activities Carnival.

“[The carnival] is a way for new students and freshmen to get to know K-State and open their eyes to all of the opportunities that campus has to offer,” Rachael Herter, senior in English and Union Program Council programmer, said.

Students can get involved in clubs and activities to meet people in their local community with common interests. Club involvement also introduces students to an international community, with some clubs sponsoring projects across the globe.

K-State offers many ways for students to get involved, including academic clubs, arts and culture clubs, multicultural and religious groups, honorary societies and even groups dedicated to school spirit.

“There were so many different clubs everywhere I looked,” Jacob Casey, freshman in business administration and political science, said. “It was amazing to know that there were so many ways to get involved in topics even if you aren’t studying them.”

While there are plenty of organizations focused on entertainment, such as the Star Wars Club, On the Spot Improv and the Anime and Manga Society, there were even more clubs associated with specific majors.

“Last year when I came here, I joined two clubs,” Christina Ashenfelter, senior in communication sciences and disorders and gerontology, said. “I found a club that was associated with my major, and from there I was able to meet people in my field and network with them.”

Students who are still undecided about their major are often encouraged to join a club based on their career interests to determine if the field suits them. Students can also explore interests beyond their major through campus clubs.

“I’m here with some of my freshmen mentees,” Essence Rush, junior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology and elementary education, said. “I like to make sure that there’s more to college than just going to class. Getting involved in a club is a great way to explore your interests within your major and outside your major. Maybe they’ll even fall in love with what they find here.”

Many students agreed that clubs and activities are good for making friends and getting out of one’s comfort zone.

“There is value in getting involved in activities,” Suzanne Fehr, sophomore in interior design, said. “It’s a great way to meet people and have fun doing something they enjoy. Shy students can start small and work up to joining a few clubs.”

Students who did not attend the event can still get involved in all of K-State’s clubs. Many of the clubs also have kickoff meetings coming up soon.

Additionally, the Union Program Council has multiple events each week for students looking for recreation on campus.

“I hope everyone finds their special little homes in these beautiful communities that are the clubs at K-State,” Jason Armenta, freshman in computer engineering, said.

Hi there! I’m Leah Zimmerli, community desk co-editor, relentless optimist, and lover of big and small dogs. I’m a junior in political science and journalism from Overland Park, Kansas. I hope to bring you pieces that challenge you, that broaden your mindset, and help you learn more about your K-State community.