Student organizations advertise, recruit on annual Campus Activities Day

RIC Debate Club president George Selwyn recruits new members.
Each year at Rhode Island College, Campus Activities Day is held for student-run clubs and organizations to attract potential members’ attention by offering free food, assorted candy or dressing up in eye-catching costumes.

This year, the event was held on the quad on Sept. 14 during free period. Over 60 student groups were present – from media and cultural awareness groups and fundraising booths, to academic and community service clubs – all with one thing in common: the desire to recruit new members.

“Campus Activities Day introduces and showcases fresh promise and community for the upcoming year for all of us at RIC,” said Kristen Salemi, director of the Student Union.

“It provides an environment for student organizations to start off the semester on a positive note while also providing a great opportunity for all students to find new ways to get involved,” added Meghan Ray, graduate intern for Student Activities at RIC.

Video of Campus Activities Day

Photo gallery of Campus Activities Day

The Student Activities booth offered RIC students more than just free candy. It advertised the opportunity for one student to win an iPod touch by attending Bingo Night, an event to be held on the second Friday of every month.

One of the most popular draws at this year’s Campus Activities Day was the free back-to-school barbeque held by RIC’s WXIN radio station. The cookout had been moved from its original date due to class cancellations by Hurricane Irene.

WXIN offered RIC students grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, watermelon and cold drinks at no cost, and played music that could be heard throughout the quad, occasionally making announcements over the loud speakers.

Casey Lumb, president of RIC's Extreme Performance Interactive Circus (EPIC), recruits new members and displays props and pictures of past events.
Alan Bourgault, a senior at RIC, was drawn to the WXIN barbeque and took to advertising “free food” on one of his social networking sites to encourage other RIC students to come enjoy the festivities.

The RIC Debate Club, led by junior George Selwyn, was looking to recruit new members. Selwyn and other Debate Club members explained to interested students that the club is for those seeking to converse, discuss, argue and debate in a fun way.

Another group looking to gain members was the Communications Club, who caught students’ attention by making announcements through WXIN and advertising their booth on the RIC Department of Communication’s Facebook page.

Seth Dixon and Kevin Gravier run the Shinn Study Abroad fundraising booth.
"We’re looking to network people in the business and build up camaraderie with other communications people, including those in mass media and public relations,” said senior Jillian Butler, president of the club.

Student organizations with an already impressive membership were also present at Campus Activities Day. RIC’s Extreme Performance Interactive Circus (EPIC), a 50-plus-member club in their second year, had members spinning hula-hoops and ribbons around their booth.

Casey Lumb, president of EPIC, said that this season the group’s budget will pay for more performance toys and guest appearances on campus.

The Shinn Study Abroad Program had a fundraising booth run by Seth Dixon, an assistant professor in the political science department, and senior Kevin Gravier, a 2010-11 Shinn award winner who spent six months traveling throughout Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

Students running their own booths also found time to explore other clubs. Paul Ethier, vice president of The College Republicans, was considering signing up for the English Club, and if RIC had one, the jousting club (which it doesn’t yet).

There were several RIC fraternities and sororities recruiting as well as the English Educators’ Network, the Ocean State Film Society, RIC Hockey, Harambee and the Poli-Sci Club.

“Maybe this year will be our year,” said one member of a smaller RIC club to another as free period came to an end and students headed back to class.

At the end of the event, sign-up sheets were full of names, candy baskets were empty and leaders of student organizations of all types and sizes were hopeful that their new members were ready to get involved and make a change at RIC.