First Look Fair draws students with diverse interests

By Nicole Noechel

The First Look Fair is a university tradition. Every year, hundreds of clubs and groups set up shop on McKeldin Mall to reel in prospective members.

This year’s fair was no exception: in addition to the usual groups, including Panhellenic Greek, religious, dance, a cappella, philanthropy, club sports and campus-sponsored organizations, there was a number of new and unique clubs excited to recruit new students.

 

IMG_1576
 A representative of the Bhagavad Gita Yoga Club hands out informational booklets to passerby. The club promotes spiritual yoga and Indian Vedic teachings.

This year’s fair was no exception: in addition to the usual groups, including Panhellenic Greek, religious, dance, a cappella, philanthropy, club sports and campus-sponsored organizations, there was a number of new and unique clubs excited to recruit new students.

 

Sophomore linguistics major Abby Kameny could be seen handing out phallic flyers to advertise auditions for Mockapella, the campus’ comedy a cappella group.

“We basically take popular songs and we make parodies and write our own lyrics to them, and we arrange the songs ourselves and do performances,” Kameny said. “We have two main performances a year, but then we also perform with other comedic groups like the improv team and the sketch comedy group.”

For music lovers who don’t sing, there are a few specialty clubs, like Gamer Symphony Orchestra (an on-campus orchestra dedicated to playing video game soundtracks) and the Terrapin Record Label, which allow students to meet other music-oriented Terps and share their passion.

IMG_1579
 Neo Neupane, a Junior communications major, poses in his bear onesie to represent the Gaming club, passing out League of Legends flyers to students. 

 

Junior Jake Dieter, a mechanical engineering major, tabled for the Metal Club, a social club for heavy-metal lovers. The club could be heard from a mile away, blasting music to attract potential members.

“We listen and we talk about metal,” he said. “The music, the bands, upcoming shows. We like to organize so people can get together and go to shows all at once so nobody’s driving separately.”

Numerous groups on campus dedicated to helping others. Artreach allows students with artistic talents to reach out to those in need while exercising their creative abilities.

Jessica Yin, a sophomore biology major, was excited to recruit new members for Artreach.

“We like to go to communities or places like children’s centers and hospitals where we can heal. We like to bring creativity to children’s centers because these are kids that usually have to stay by themselves in hospitals for a very long time. It’s very nice to bring some color and creativity to their lives, and sometimes even a performance or two,” Yin said.

While students from all years attend the fair, freshmen are urged to attend so they can join clubs and get involved in what interests them early.

Freshmen public policy major Nick Torre and computer science major Renee Yang were drawn to the fair for the large array of clubs to choose from. Both students were excited to see what UMD has to offer.

“I’m joining ballroom dance, ‘cause that seems fun,” Torre said.

“I think I’m gonna join club swim,” Yang added.

Freshman computer science major Gesna Aggarwal was surprised by the multitude of clubs available to sign up for.

“I was told by a lot of upperclassmen that I should probably check it out,” Aggarwal said. “I saw the Quidditch Club, which was pretty cool. There were a lot of weird clubs. Apparently, there’s a squirrel watching club too, but I couldn’t find it!”

The First Look Fair hosted students crowding booths on the mall and around McKeldin Library socializing, looking to learn about new clubs and maybe score some free merchandise. With the plethora of new clubs, there were groups geared toward any student, from a video gamer to a sports fanatic.

Photos by Nicole Noechel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s