Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 3, 2023

Students find ways to get engaged at the Student Involvement Fair

By KRISTEN ISALY | September 5, 2023



Students looking to join student organizations attend the Fall 2023 Student Involvement Fair.

The Fall 2023 Student Involvement Fair (SIF) took place at the Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center (Rec Center) on Sept. 1. The event, hosted by the Leadership Engagement and Experiential Development (LEED) office, gave returning and incoming students the opportunity to get involved in student clubs and organizations at Hopkins. 

Calvin Smith, senior director of the LEED office, has been responsible for managing SIF for the past five years. In an email to The News-Letter, Smith discussed his thoughts on how the event will impact students.

“I believe SIF is a great opportunity, early in the academic year, for first-year students to learn about what is offered in terms of a co-curricular experience at JHU and for returning students to meet eager first-year students that may share their passions,” he said. 

Freshman Naga Veeramallu stated in an interview with The News-Letter that SIF helped introduce him to clubs he otherwise may not have known about.

“I wanted to learn about the clubs here,” he said. “I didn’t actually hear about most of them before coming here, and I got to know a lot of them.”

Veeramallu expressed interest in the Maryland Science Olympiad and an investing club after attending SIF. 

Freshman Samuel Hudman heard about the event from friends and was also interested in seeing what club opportunities Hopkins had to offer. However, for Hudman, student involvement wasn’t all he was looking for.

“I really wanted to meet new people from Hopkins,” Hudman said in an interview with The News-Letter.

Hopkins has almost 400 student-run organizations, which gives students like Veeramallu and Hudman many opportunities to participate and meet new people on campus. Only Homewood Campus registered student organizations that re-registered in the previous academic year were eligible to participate in SIF. All registered organizations had a specific booth and aisle number for the event.

Junior Christina Rivera attended SIF as a representative of the only treble a cappella group on campus, The Sirens. It was her first time attending SIF as part of a student organization and not as an attendee.

“It’s really nice getting in the swing of things and being able to tell people about what I experienced freshman year and how they can be a part of it,” she said.

Students interested in signing up for a student organization like The Sirens could write down their name, student email and phone number on the contact sheet provided by the club.

“There’s going to be an email that’s sent to everyone about audition requirements [and] also potential callback information,” Rivera said.

Some groups went contactless, choosing to use a QR code for attendees to send in an electronic interest form instead of writing down the information on a piece of paper.

Multiple groups had interactive activities and games for the attendees to participate in, and some organizations handed out stickers, flyers or merchandise for the attendees to take home. Cultural groups played music on small speakers as well.

The hustle and bustle in the Rec Center gave freshman Penelope Shvarts, who attended SIF with Hudman, insight into the diverse activities present on campus.

“People at Hopkins have many interests,” she said. “And there’s kind of a club to suit everybody from what I can see so far.”

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