Email lists and League of Legends: Students hit Petersen Events Center for Activities Fair

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Email lists and League of Legends: Students hit Petersen Events Center for Activities Fair

Photo: Nikki Moriello / Visual Editor

Photo: Nikki Moriello / Visual Editor

Photo: Nikki Moriello / Visual Editor

Photo: Nikki Moriello / Visual Editor

By Chidi Nwakpuda / Staff Writer

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Unlike other Pitt students, sophomore Isaac Goss loves getting emails from student groups and can’t wait for them to drown his Pitt inbox.

Goss and hoards of other freshman students attended the Pitt Activities Fair, which took place Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. in the Petersen Events Center. More than 400 clubs set up booths in the hallways and on the gym floor to attract new and incoming students. Student Affairs, which organized the Fair, registered the clubs with the Student Organization Resource Center’s assistance.

Although some students were intrigued by the activity, Goss, a third year sophomore transfer student, said his participation would depend on the club’s follow-up with students. He said a lot of email alerts would be most effective.

“That’s how I get to do something. [I think], oh hey, you sent me a lot of emails. If you keep asking, I might do it,” he said.

According to SORC, this year’s Activities Fair was larger than last year’s because it certified more clubs.

“We have a lot of new clubs,” Margaret Shuff, a SORC employee said. “[They] are always rollling in. At least 30 new groups have been certified to start this year.”

Club representatives manned booths packed along the walls of the Pete, and Pitt students crowded the floors. Taking the escalator up to the concourse level, cyber gamers from the role-playing game League of Legends club, bird watchers from the ornithology club and dancers from eight different dance clubs — offering everything from salsa to swing to ballet — greeted students.

Goss, like many of the hundreds of students milling around the Pete, wanted a club to satisfy his wide range of interests outside of academics, including music, theater, math and science.

“[I’m] hoping to join something fun, meet people in the community setting. I was also hoping to find something I wouldn’t expect,” he said.

After looking around, Goss said he may join a math and science club, like the one he started in high school, but hadn’t picked any specific one yet.

Sophomore Ian Straka, a member of the League of Legends club, said his club was open for all students, regardless of their gaming preference.

“We’re not really targeting anyone [specific]. Students, alumni, even people who don’t go to Pitt or transferred are a part of the community,” Straka said.

Students in other clubs, like Brandon Small, a member of Pitt’s Premedical Organization for Minority Students, said he hoped other students will join for the same reason he did.

“I joined POMS because it’s a family,” Small, a sophomore microbiology and fiction writing major on the pre-med track, said. “Pre-med is really competitive, so this is a supportive environment.”

The Upper Plaza held sports and recreations teams, including a fencing duel from the Fencing Club, a boxing match from the Mixed Martial Arts Club and students from the Pitt Fitness and Bodybuilding club lifting weights on a bench press. One member from the Pitt water polo team walked around the Pete in nothing but a Speedo.

Some students hoped to join clubs that were an exciting departure from their major or academic pursuit and opted to look for the most fun, unique groups. Alvaro Granados, a junior transfer from the University of New Haven and a neuroscience major, said he hopes to join a club that stands out.

“I’m here to see if I can join one really, really strange club. Like a river swimming club,” he said.

Andrew Belek, a junior transfer student from Pitt Johnstown, said he was avoiding clubs similar to the ones he joined at Pitt Johnstown.

“I am a part of Phi Eta Sigma [at Pitt Johnstown], an honorary fraternity that requires 3.5 GPA within the first semester. [But], I don’t think I will join any more fraternities,” Belek said.

New to Pitt, Belek said he wanted to find a club different from his Pitt Johnstown fraternity. His biggest goal, he said, is to hold a leadership position and volunteer.

Seyda Altunal, a freshman neuroscience major, knew exactly what she was there for. She wanted a club that could tackle both her academic and social life at the same time.

“I’m looking for the pre-med frat. I just think school is important and I like to focus on it,” Altunal said. “A social life is also important. [I want] to devote some hours for study and some for social [activities],” she said.

Some students, of course, weren’t set on anything specific, but were drawn to organizations’ tables based on their free food selections.

“There’s a lot of candy here. Oh my gosh, there’s candy,” Belek said.

Editor’s Note: Due to an editing error, The Pitt News incorrectly used the pronoun “he” to refer to Pitt student Seyda Altunal. The story has been updated with Altunal’s correct pronouns, she/her.   

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