Many students at Penn State York are looking for their niche, their opportunity to fit in, and a place to belong. This year was no different.
The fall 2011 semester has seen great growth in the number of recognized clubs and organizations offered at Penn State York and the students came out to see what was available to them at the fall Club Fair. With more than300 students attending Club Fair, the sixteen different clubs and organizations were looking to recruit. With free food from the Lion’s Den, and the acoustic duo, Poor Tim, in the background, Club Rush was an excellent jumping off point for students at Penn State York to get involved. Each of the recognized student clubs or organizations staffed their table to promote and inform fellow students what their particular club was about, in hopes of finding another member to belong. Likewise, many students were eager to join the clubs and become engaged and involved in the Penn State York community.
Whether it was being the voice of the students by joining Student Government Association (SGA) or joining the largest student philanthropy in the nation by being a member of Penn State York THON, students came out in droves to find a place to fit in, a sense of belonging. Students were also able to see what clubs or organizations were not represented in hopes of starting one. This was the case for the creation of the newly formed and recognized Agricultural Science Club. Students saw such major-related clubs as the Biology Club, Human Development and Family Studies Club, and Penn State York Business Club, that they decided to start a club in their major, Agricultural Science. This was soon followed by the reinstatement of the Communication Arts and Sciences Club as they have become more active under new adviser, Josie Moore, instructor in communication arts and sciences.
The momentum did not end there, as the Campus Programming Board saw more than 250 students attend their first week of activities, culminating in a over 130 students creating a standing room only event to see the magic of Joel Meyers. Meyers recently moved into the college circuit after a recent tour of China, and his rsum includes everything from star performances off Broadway, insurance and Fortune 500 Companies’ private parties, and corporate shows, to appearances at five-star restaurants, countless charity events and fundraisers, Universities, and with numerous celebrities. Students were able to see Meyers walking around campus promoting his show by doing “simple” card tricks. As he walked campus two students would be amazed and asked him to repeat the trick. Soon the crowd grew to seven, then ten, until all 130+ were in the Community Room waiting for the show to start.
Using simple props and students as well, he awed and amazed the audience as any good magician would. Whether he was performing card tricks, escaping from a strait jacket or making it snow pieces of white confetti, Meyers was an absolute success!
A second big hit for the Campus Programming Board was the offering of Kramer Edutainment’s Distracted Driver Simulator. This was brought to campus in collaboration with Save a Life Tour, and through the offering, Penn State York hit the front page of the local newspaper, the York Daily Record. Students were able to sit in front of a screen that displayed the road while the simulation allowed for various weather and scenery backgrounds. While operating the wheel and gas and brake pedals, students were to respond to text messages on a connected iPod Touch. After each “wreck,” images from actual car crashes were displayed alongside facts about distracted driving, allowing students to visualize real-life situations that they may be presented with should they chose to text and drive. Being a commuter campus and knowing that the majority of the students at Penn State York drive to campus, this program was certainly one to get students to think twice about what they are doing behind the wheel. The positive response from the students and the community has driven the Campus Programming Board to plan a safety week in the spring semester!
With many of these events occurring during the common hour (or longer) there is a great opportunity for students to participate in the events or just be a spectator. They often find other students to connect with, and with minimal class schedule conflicts, students are able to get lunch, socialize, and involve themselves. Additionally, as many of these events are interactive, students are able to converse throughout the duration of the program to learn more about one another and in some cases walk away with something tangible, as is the case in the novelty events such as Clearly You Crystals, which uses a laser to engrave images into crystal blocks.
Clubs and organizations, Student Government Association, and activities sponsored by the Campus Programming Board are different avenues that students have utilized to find their place in the Penn State York community, and it starts up all over again in January as a second Club Fair will occur due to the overwhelming response in the fall. Club Fair is not the only opportunity for students to get involved; by simply showing up at the various club and organizations students are able to take part in the experience. With the attention paid to the University Calendar, as well as our new weekly activities publication, the Stall Seat Journal, many club meetings are announced regularly for more students to join and become involved; students don’t have to wait until next semester if they want to get involved now!
For information about student activities at Penn State York, please call 771-771-4045 or e-mail Jason Kilmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.