Cullen Moore and his girlfriend Carolyn Clark had a pretty clear idea of what they were looking for when they stepped into the Activities Carnival in the K-State Student Union Thursday night.
But as the two looked around, they saw a variety of opportunities before them from the over 200 clubs and organizations represented, including academic clubs, honoraries, leadership opportunities and sports clubs.
“I’m looking to join a fraternity,” Moore, freshman in architectural engineering, said. “Mainly just to get involved with more people so I’m not spending all my time in my dorm.”
While Clark, freshman in marketing, has already involved herself with a house, she wanted to find other ways to plug herself in.
“I wanted to join a business club,” Clark said. “I’m already in a sorority, so I didn’t want to spread myself too thin, but I definitely wanted to get more involved.”
One club that had a prominent presence was the Star Wars club; members walked around with large signs that said, “Ask me about the Star Wars club.”
Star Wars club outreach manager Garrett Kuhn, senior in management information systems, said the signs had a significant impact on their outreach.
“Last year, we basically just sat there at the table,” Kuhn said. “We had a bunch of decorations and we just gave out flyers. Last year we got a good number of people, but this year we’ve gotten, I think we’ve gotten 50 people tonight. Our big thing [is] the picket signs.”
Students walking around could grab candy, cups and snacks, something the organizations used to welcome students and get their attention.
A long line wound around the second floor as students waited to grab a free water bottle featuring fruit infusion, one of many incentives that were handed out at the event.
“We know that students like free stuff,” Kelli Farris, executive director for the center for student involvement, said. “Doesn’t matter what year in school you are, you like free things. A lot of the student organizations are handing out free things.”
While Cooper Mumford, freshman in architecture planning and design, pursued his usual interests of running and student ministry, another club caught his eye.
“One thing that did peak my interest is the skydiving club,” Mumford said. “It’s not really a normal thing I do, but that sounded fun.”
Although many of the organizations on campus were represented at the carnival, about 300 of the 500 were not.
While some only reach out to a certain group of people and thus do not try to be at the event, the rest were not able to come do to the size of the building. As a result, the clubs and organizations have to register on a first come first serve basis.
In spite of this, many different types of opportunities were represented.
“Activities carnival is really cool because you get a very broad spectrum of all those organizations,” Farris said.
Once they had decided to leave the event, Moore and Clark had both found and talked to organizations they may want to join, noting the kindness and sincerity of who they spoke to.
“Everyone’s really inviting,” Moore said. “If they’re interested in you, they’ll just approach you.”