Quad Day benefits both RSOs and individual students

By Isabella Jackson

Sundays on the Main Quad are normally peaceful, while many students catch up on sleep or homework rather than rushing to class, but this Sunday at 5:30 a.m., Illini Union staffers will cover the grounds with tables in preparation for one of the most high-traffic days of the school year: Quad Day.

This year, the annual campus event will have more than 600 tables and booths for registered student organizations.

Dementro Powell, assistant director of the office of registered student organizations, said set-up includes marking each organization’s assigned area with chalk and flags.

However, the Illini Union staff is not the only group that makes the day run smoothly.

Powell said that the departments of Facilities and Management Services and Building Service Workers, carpenters and electricians also help.

This year, Melissa Kisubika, program director of the student organization and resource fee funding board, said that there are 599 RSOs with reserved spots on Quad Day, and another 56 spots will be filled by academic units and community partners.

Seventeen student groups will perform at various times throughout the day as well.

Powell said that having an event to gather these groups showcases student involvement and the diversity of the organizations on campus, as well as highlighting the various talents of students at the University.

“It exposes students to all of this so they have the option to join and connect where they have an interest,” Kisubika wrote in an email.

“While it is a crazy full and a busy day, it does allow students to see and meet lots of groups we have on campus.”

Kisubika added that the University wants students to develop friendships and learn skills that will benefit them long after graduation.

Making connections with other students on Quad Day is one of the best ways to accomplish that.

“Being involved on campus is a great way to meet new people and build a connection to the University of Illinois community,” Kisubika wrote in an email. “Our goal is for students to excel in and out of the classroom. Involvement often enhances classroom learning.”

Leah Valenti, senior in Business and president of the October Lovers club, which holds numerous autumn-related events during the month of October, said Quad Day is instrumental in gaining new members who can add to the each group’s passion and spirit.

Valenti said that she thinks students are much more likely to join a club on Quad Day than during the rest of the year.

“You are just exposed to so much on that day, and with it being at the beginning of the school year, people are more open to trying new things,” Valenti said.

Because the event is so large, Powell said some freshmen may feel overwhelmed by Quad Day.

But he said he encourages them to seek out other resources that the University offers if they did not find the group that they were looking for at the event.

“The opportunities are endless to get connected by checking out UofIConnections or stopping by the Office of Registered Organizations, where we are more than happy to connect them and answer questions as best we can.”

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