President Drake and Nydia Kung at the Ohio State involvement fair. | Photo credit: Cori Wade, Assistant Photo Editor

Students were packed shoulder to shoulder in sweltering heat on the pathways of The Oval and South Oval Sunday, listening to enthusiastic pitches from student organizations about anything from juggling to community service.

Hosted by the Office of Student Life, the Fall Involvement Fair took place on The Oval and South Oval and featured over 700 of the university’s organizations and campus departments, according to Ohio State’s website. Students were invited to visit the tables and learn more about the many affiliations on campus.

Sina Musie, a fourth-year in civil engineering and president of the National Society of Black Engineers, said the involvement fair showcased what Ohio State stands for. 

“I think it’s just a way to represent what OSU is all about –– how diverse and involved the campus is outside of just academics,” she said. “It’s pretty much just showing originality and showing you can pretty much do anything, get involved with anything, despite where you are in life, in school, wherever.”

For Laura Cunliffe, a first-year in computer science engineering, she said her eagerness to learn about her new university motivated her to go to the fair, but she left with a greater understanding of her own interests. 

“Walking around, I was able to see a lot more clubs that I found interesting that I didn’t really even know would exist, and now I’m kind of excited to be a part of them,” she said. 

The involvement fair fell on Cunliffe’s first day on campus, and she said it sparked a sense of community as she watched the attendees tour all of the different booths. 

Jacob Egelhoff, a first-year in finance, said the fair acted as a warm welcome to what he anticipated college life to look like. 

Egelhoff said the fair was “overwhelming,” but that the feeling of overwhelmedness is why he came to college.

While freshman use the experience to learn about all the university has to offer, current group members and leaders use the fair to expand upon their group’s membership. 

Grace Nanni, a third-year in fashion and retail studies and president of Fashion Production Association, said the fair allowed the group to expose many new people to their organization, and get sign-ups along the way. 

“I think it’s really good for Ohio State because it gives the freshmen something to do and it gives everybody something to center around,” Nanni said. “It’s kind of like the older people who have been here for a while, who are established in their organizations, can share it with the newer people coming in.”

A multi-organization member and fourth-year in psychology, Rachel Oakley, not only attends the fair as a guest, but also as a representative for the neuroscience club, Minds Matter.

Though Oakley said free giveaways motivated her initial involvement fair attendance freshman year, she said the fair helped her get involved with many groups and is a staple for every incoming class. 

“I feel like if you didn’t have the involvement fair at The Oval, there would be something missing,” Oakley said.