Excitement and enriching opportunities fill 2023 Engagement Fair

Quinnipiac’s student-run clubs and organizations filled the Mount Carmel Campus Quad with energy, excitement and enriching opportunities for new Bobcats to explore during the 2023 Engagement Fair.

Associate Director of Student Engagement Jahmil Effend said student leadership representing more than 140 Quinnipiac clubs and organizations were joined by many departments and offices from across campus in offering co-curricular student experiences to the Class of 2027.

“This is a very big tradition to start the semester off,” said Effend.

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Effend said the Engagement Fair’s wide range offerings are indicative of the university’s commitment to support diverse student interests.

A few steps away from the Student Engagement tent at the event, a multicultural club display backed by music, flags and a welcoming group of student organizers drew communications major Candace Dawson ’27, to learn more about Quinnipiac’s African Caribbean Student Union (ACSU).

“I’m African American and Caribbean, and I did not know about it,” said Dawson. “I was just passing by, and I heard the music and saw all the flags on the table. It looks like fun.”

Anna-Beth Haye, ACSU’s president and a senior journalism major, said the annual Engagement Fair creates an exceptional outreach opportunity to help Quinnipiac’s multicultural clubs offer representation and inclusivity.

“I’m Jamaican American, and I grew up in a very West Indian African-heavy household, with a lot of that rich culture. So I think it’s very important to have these types of clubs at Quinnipiac, where there’s not a large ethnic population, for kids that maybe are feeling homesick. It’s a club where they can come and feel at home and feel like they belong somewhere. They see other faces that grew up in the same culture and have the same mannerisms and traditions,” said Haye.

A common interest in community service is what drew Daniella Villon ’25, to join co-ed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega as a first-year student. At the 2023 Engagement Fair, Villon was helping provide information about the group to members of the Class of 2027.

“We’re emphasizing our main pillar, which is community service,” said Villon. “I’ve loved doing service since high school, and I wanted to continue that in college. Deciding to join Alpha Phi Omega is one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

New Bobcats Emma Homenick ’27, and Aaliyah Gervais ’27, came out to the Engagement Fair with several interests in mind.

“I’m undeclared but I’m in the 3+3 law program, so I’ve looked at Mock Trial and Pre-Law Society. I’ve also looked into GSA [Gender and Sexuality Alliance], the Student Programming Board and the a cappella club,” said Homenick.

Gervais, a behavioral neuroscience major, checked out Quinnipiac’s Behavioral Neuroscience Club, Women’s Health Organization, Student Programming Board, Criminal Justice Club, Women Empowered Club. She also stopped by at the Legends A Cappella Club table.

“I’ve always liked singing, and when I was younger, I used to perform, but now I’m not a very outward singer. I wanted to check it out and see if it would help me get out there,” said Gervais. “They were very sweet; very nice and informative.”

Legends Club treasurer Matt Long ’24, a health science major, has been singing with the club for four years.

“It’s been quite a journey in learning it’s not always about being in the front, it’s not always about being a star. It’s about working as a team, and putting something together that’s bigger than yourself, and being able to take criticism and improve yourself,” said Long. “It’s a great environment, and it’s great to a be a part of a team.”

Wearing their team jerseys of Bobcat blue and gold, members of Quinnipiac Club Esports attracted quite a crowd to their table, topped with two impressive 2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) eSports championship trophies. Plenty of new students were signing up for more information and to learn about team tryouts set for September.

“We’ve been getting people constantly. It’s crazy,” said Club eSports president Tom Bufalini, ’25, a game design major.

The club, which offers five games, plays in the eSports Lab in the Rocky Top Student Center at the York Hill Campus once a week.

“They’re all very competitive teams,” said Bufalini. “We go to Atlantic City every March to compete, and it’s a very fun time. If people want to get more competitive in video games, Club eSports is for you.”

Students looking to learn more about fitness and health found plenty of information offered by Quinnipiac’s Health and Wellness Department team.

“Generally during this semester, our student population is really interested in the fitness classes, and the exciting thing is that they’re all free,” said Natalie Rivera, Fitness and Wellbeing Coordinator. “Making a well-rounded health experience for all our students is really a top priority for us. We also offer training courses for students who would like to become certified in the courses.”

A range of fitness classes, including the most popular, spin and yoga, are based at the new Recreation and Wellness Center, completed earlier this year on the Mount Carmel Campus.

New Bobcats Pierce Conway ’27, and Nathan Cordisco ’27, said they recently tried out the rock-climbing wall at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Conway, a rock-climbing enthusiast, found a great fit for his interest when he came upon Quinnipiac Club Co-Ed Climbing at the Engagement Fair.

“The wall here is nice for what they have, and I’m impressed that they have a rock-climbing club, so I signed up for their email,” said Conway, a computer science major.

Cordisco, a business major who enjoys snowboarding, was equally impressed to find out about Quinnipiac Snow, the university’s skiing and snowboarding club.

“I saw the snowboarding club, and I’m pretty interested in that, so I put my email down for it,” said Cordisco. “And I went with Pierce to the rock-climbing wall here yesterday, and that was pretty fun, so I put my email down for that, too.”

A newly launched club drawing interest at the Engagement Fair this year was the Quinnipiac Chess Club.

“See a need fill a need. There was no chess club, so we made it,” said club co-president Shane Gardiner ’26, a behavioral neuroscience major.

Gardiner co-founded the club with friends Chris Kenney ’26, a finance major, and Nicholas Paskalis ’26, a business/undecided major.

Quinnipiac’s Chess Club welcomes students with all levels of experience.

“It gives you a chance to play against other people around your skill level. We’ll teach people that don’t know how play; and we also have people that are grandmasters,” said Kenney.

Paskalis credited Gardiner’s sign-wielding showmanship and vocal invitations to drawing over 100 new students to sign up for more club information within the first hour of the fair.

Many more new Quinnipiac student clubs and organizations are on the horizon, said Effend.

“We’re at 140 today, but it’s always growing. In my queue right now, I have at least 10 groups that want to start,” said Effend.

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