E-Night brings together engineering clubs, students

Students+gather+around+the+Illinois+Space+Society+RSO+on+the+Bardeen+Quad+Sunday+during+E-Night%2C+a+Quad+Day+specifically+for+engineering+students.+About+70+different+RSOs+were+present+at+this+event.

Photo Courtesy of Vivian La

Students gather around the Illinois Space Society RSO on the Bardeen Quad Sunday during E-Night, a Quad Day specifically for engineering students. About 70 different RSOs were present at this event.

By Vivian La and Willie Cui

Students filled the Bardeen Quad on Sunday evening for E-Night, an opportunity for engineering students to explore engineering RSOs and related extracurricular activities.

The annual event, organized by the Engineering Council, was described by many RSO leaders and students as a Quad Day for engineering students. There were roughly 70 organizations represented at tables lining the sidewalks.

“There’s so many organizations and RSOs on Quad Day, but you can’t see all of them,” said Anirudh Ramesh, freshman in Engineering. “So it’s good to specify the engineering ones so you can look at the ones you want to join.”

Aishwarya Rajesh, junior in Engineering and internal vice president for the Engineering Council, noted that E-Night was organized so that underclassmen can meet with engineering RSOs “one-on-one” rather than during the “hustle and bustle” of Quad Day.

“We have the engineering fraternities, the car teams, different minority-in-STEM organizations,” Rajesh said. “And if you look around there’s a ton of different ones.”

A separate event like Quad Day for engineering also gives RSOs a chance to reach students in different areas of engineering, said Lydia Spychalla, senior in Engineering and vice president of the Society for Women in Physics.

All the physics organizations had to share a table on Quad Day, she said. E-Night is a good chance to engage with the right audience.

“It has been a lot easier for people to come when they actually are interested,” Spychalla said. “People who our club is relevant for are more likely to show up.”

Students are also usually not sure what they want to do in the broad field of engineering, said Bayan Hamdan, graduate student in Engineering and member of the Arab American Association for Engineers and Architects.

“As a Ph.D. student who does a lot of interdisciplinary research, it’s cool to see what everyone is doing across the college too,” Hamdan said.

And because engineering is primarily male dominated, Hamdan said events like E-Night can help women in engineering with networking.

“It’s a good chance to meet other females in engineering, network and just understand that people like us exist,” she said.

The Arab American Association for Engineers and Architects is new this year, Hamdan said. It was one of many minorities in STEM organizations at E-Night. 

E-Night is a lot more personal, said Nafiz Rahman, senior in Engineering and a project manager for UIUC Concrete Canoe team.

The team is a civil and environmental engineering organization but accepts students from all majors.

“We can talk to people, we can explain more of our club to everyone,” Rahman said. “We can get more of an engagement with them.”

Overall, students said it’s great to have all the engineering clubs together and they’re hopeful for this academic year.

“We’re just hoping this is a great start of the year that shows we can actually go back to normal this year,” Hamdan said. “Fingers crossed.”

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