Navigating the Student Org-Fair Like a Boss


The start of a new school year can mark a time of self-discovery. Being away from home often gives you the courage to step outside your comfort zone and be a part of something you never imagined yourself doing before. One of the most exciting aspects of moving to your new four-year home is discovering and learning about the many organizations and clubs offered at Sam Houston State University. The perfect place to get a taste of all of these organizations in one setting is at the Student Org Fair. This is your opportunity to rub elbows with eager student organizations, clubs and sports teams whom all want to convince you being a part of their group will be a life changing experience. My first time going to the Org Fair was extremely insightful and aided me in my decision to become part of several organizations. A new organization can offer a lot to you such as networking opportunities, a chance to make new friends, and the possibility of serving those on campus and in the community. Whatever you come to discover, attending the student org fair is an absolute must. Now you’re probably thinking, “Wow this sounds like a great way for me to get myself out there but it also seems really overwhelming!” I’m not going to lie and say that hundreds of orgs coming at you like used car salesmen is not always the most exciting scenario, but in the big scheme of things, it really is worth experiencing. I have your back and am going to give you my top do’s and don’ts of navigating the student Org Fair.




Be Open Minded

It is good to have interests in mind when you arrive at the org fair but don’t let this over power your decisions when it comes to the tables you visit. This is the time you can try new things and not have to worry about being judged. When I attended my first org fair, I went in with the goal of joining one organization and came out with interest in several and ended up joining three. You never know if you’re going to enjoy something until you take the time to discover it for yourself.


Do Your Homework

Homework… to attend an org fair? Yes homework, and I don’t mean those strenuously difficult assignments that professors assign, but prior research. I am talking about turning to your best friend, the almighty google. The internet is a great source to find out more about the schools organizations before actually meeting with them face to face. All registered student clubs and organizations are required to have an orglink page which can give you details of the organizations mission and purpose, as well as contact information. This is also an excellent resource for those who may not be able to attend the fair and can easily be accessed at any time.


Introduce Yourself

Introductions, although intimidating, are often the key to new opportunities that may have otherwise seemed impossible. You will never know what someone has to offer you unless you take the first step of introducing yourself. I can say from personal experience those people on the other side of the table are often just as nervous as you. I mean think about it. Their goal is to try and convince you that you should join their organization because it is the best thing since sliced bread. They are selling to you, so don’t be intimidated! Also, if you’re really interested in an organization and the possibility of advancement, make sure to stand out. Now this does not mean committing the cardinal sin of being over-zealous because that can come off super creepy. My advice is to master the three S’s: the shake, the smile, the sell. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but by “the sell” I mean tell them who you are and why you have interest in their organization. In the short time they are out on the yard they will meet over 200 people, so make them remember you!





Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Another way to show interest in an org is to ask questions! Generally the org’s representatives will give you a brief introduction into what they do as well as their goals and missions, but sometimes they may leave things out. Great questions can be things such as, “How often do you meet? Is there a gpa requirement? Do you offer any volunteer opportunities?”  Don’t be afraid to pick their brains, they have to be there so take advantage.



Provide Your Information to Everyone

It is good to show interest in more than one organization but if you don’t feel a connection with a group after visiting their table, you don’t have to provide your information. You may feel a sense of obligation to do so out of politeness, but it is not required. This was probably my biggest regret when it came to my first org fair. No one likes to be bogged down by spam emails of an org that you are not interested in. So do yourself a favor and decline respectfully.


Be Rude

At the end of the day, no matter if you are an existing org member or a potential new signee, you are all there to make a connection. This is not high school and cliques are really a thing of the past. We are all students who want to get involved in the college community and be a part of something outside of ones’ self. So do yourself a favor and don’t be rude to the people who are trying to get you to join their club. Be willing to hear them out and if you aren’t interested simply say thank you and move on. Although there are thousands of people on campus you never know when you may run into that person again.


No matter if you’re a fresh faced freshman or a seasoned senior, it is never too late to get involved. Now that I have shared my essential do and don’ts to navigating the org fair, it is your turn. So get out there and make your mark!

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