Quad Day: A day of new and old RSOs
August 22, 2014
The start of the school year brings new students, new classes and, most importantly, new clubs.
Whether the RSO is a newly established club or has deep roots on campus, the hundreds of organizations that will be present on Sunday will attempt to make connections to potential new members in a variety of ways.
For Travis Hamilton, senior in Engineering and president of Varsity Men’s Glee Club, the perfect way to appeal to new members is with a strong sense of tradition. The Varsity Men’s Glee Club was founded in 1886 and is the oldest RSO on campus. The all-male singing group tours and performs about four concerts per year.
“You know what to expect with all of the tradition,” he said. “I think seeing an organization that has been on campus for so long, that has stuck around and has traditions, has its own bit of legacy, I think really shows potential members that this is a good and solid group.”
On the other hand, newly established organizations can sometimes find it difficult to stand out from the clubs that are more firmly rooted in the campus community.
The Next Step, a Latin dance group, is one example.
Alejandra Berber, senior in LAS, founded The Next Step, and is now is president of the group. Berber said the organization struggled with finances last year, and thus found it difficult to promote the club to new members.
“It was hard matching up to people around at other tables,” Berber said. “As I was starting the organization, I didn’t have the money to actually get all of that to make (the booth) look nice; it is hard to stand out there otherwise.”
In addition to financial struggles, other new RSOs have found that they don’t have enough new members to man the booths in their the first year, leaving them ill-equipped to recruit.
“Last year, I think we had six people working our booth,” said David Dahowski, junior in LAS and president of the ILL Harmonic. Like The Next Step, this year will be the RSO’s second on campus.
“We had to be there all day. We decided to keep everybody at the booth at all times with intermittent breaks for lunch and stuff,” he said.
Despite the challenges he’s found as a member of ILL Harmonic, said he thinks the Quad Day planners “have a formula down” and the event “has been very relevant in the past” for new students.
Berber agrees, and said that she thinks the event brings a one-of-a-kind platform for both students and RSOs.
“It is a bigger region … where everyone is more interested,” she said. “More people, more of a crowd, more attention.”
Declan can be reached at [email protected]