Get a Clue

Question: What do a purple dune buggy, a hookah, and Girl Scout cookies all have in common?

Answer: They were just a few of the items used to promote

campus clubs and organizations at the Student Organizations Center’s recent “Get a Clue” student involvement fair.

Students spin to win at the "Get A Clue" student involvement fair.

The fair, which took place on Wednesday, September 17, in the green space behind Mendenhall Student Center, featured nearly 100 student groups and provided students with a comprehensive display of student involvement opportunities from all corners of campus.

“What’s going on here is really nice,” said Fateh Odeh, the president of the Arab Student Union, one of campus organizations participating in the event. “I didn’t know about half of these organizations even existed.”

She isn’t alone. Take figure skating. Did you know ECU has a figure-skating club? What about our very own chapter of Ducks Unlimited? Need some spiritual guidance, but can’t choose between the Campus Christian Fellowship, Muslim Student Association, Hillel, or the Pagan Student Association? What about  the Secular Humanists on Campus?

There appeared to be something for everyone at "Get A Clue." From professional societies to faith-based groups, club sports, and leadership organizations, each group hoped to attract new members.

“We are out here recruiting members to help us be leaders to the girls out in the community,” said Yoshika McCain, a senior from Hamlet, North Carolina, and a member of Campus Girl Scouts. “I think this is a good event to spread awareness about organizations on campus. A lot of people don’t know about Campus Girl Scouts.”

McCain said the fair was helping Campus Girl Scouts promote who they are, and what the organization does in the community.

“We’re letting people know that we work with 12- to 18-year-old girls at the Moyewood Community Center. We do educational programs with them, and since they are older, we try to do stuff with them on campus to give them a feel of college life,” she said. “We also sell cookies beginning in February, just like any other troop would.”

ECU's chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers showed what they do at the recent student involvement fair.

Other groups were hoping that the friendly, casual setting of the fair would help spread a general sense of cultural awareness and promote tolerance on campus.

“We want everyone to know who the Arab Student Union is—that we are here on campus and that we are open to all students,” said Odeh, a sophomore from Greenville. “With the media today, some people have a bad image of us. We want people to know that we are actually friendly people. We want people to learn about us and be open-minded.”

Many organizations used posters and flyers to deliver information about their group to students. Others, like the ECU chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, were more aggressive. Behind their table was parked the purple and gold baja-class rail buggy the club built. According to SAE member Michael Trapani, a sophomore from Raleigh, North Carolina, the buggy attracted a lot of attention.

“People were definitely interested in our group. We ran out of flyers,” he said.

“Get A Clue” also welcomed representatives from 48 university-approved vendors, and students appeared to be thrilled by the sheer quantity of free stuff the vendors handed out. T-shirts, frisbees, cups, pens, key chains, mini footballs…If it could have a logo or a name printed on it, someone was giving it away.

But the fair wasn’t resigned to information gathering and awareness. There was also plenty to see and do. The ECU Democrats and the Upsilon Zeta chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity registered voters, and the ECU Knights chess club had a board ready for anyone who wanted to play.

“We’ve gotten a good response. Usually the chess club is fairly slow on recruitment, but we’ve had a lot of people stop by today,” said Knights president Michael Dudley, a senior from Brooklyn, New York. “We’re also trying to break down the stereotype that chess is a scary game. It’s really not. It’s a very enjoyable game and once people learn how to play, they quickly realize how simple it is and how fun it is to play.”

Those who missed “Get A Clue” this year will have another chance to learn about campus organizations and clubs at Barefoot On the Mall this spring, or can visit the Student Organization Center online.