Michael Wenye Li / Sun File Photo

Students filled Barton Hall last year for Spring ClubFest.

February 4, 2020

Students Look for New Opportunities at Spring ClubFest

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Correction appended.

Sunday marked the beginning of networking opportunities and the expansion of club listservs, as scores of students flocked to Spring ClubFest in Barton Hall.

Coordinated by the Welcome Weekend Committee, Spring ClubFest provides students a second chance this school year to move their college careers in new directions.

This year’s version featured about 320 clubs and included performances from BreakFree Hip Hop, C.U. Cyphers and the Comedy Club at Cornell. Despite this turnout, Robert Bossong ’22, ClubFest chair of Welcome Weekend Committee, said that spring club attendance underperformed its autumn counterpart, as Fall ClubFest generally hosts more groups.

Part of the reason why attendance may have dipped is because the expenses outweigh the benefits of advertising, as some organizations decide to only recruit in the fall.

Although smaller, Bossong said that this year’s spring ClubFest was “the largest yet,” and plenty of students still dropped by to hear clubs’ spiels.

“Even though I’m a sophomore, there’s always something new here,” said Sydney Lawrence ’22. “You can never get everything in one go, so I just keep coming year after year, just to see if there is anything new.”

The smaller size didn’t disappoint everyone, as Jassa Chang-Weinberg ’23 found it “a lot less overwhelming compared to Fall ClubFest.”

As usual, ClubFest attracted many students eager to discover new interests and make new friends. Among those walking away with a deck of quarter cards were a group of freshmen who felt more prepared to join clubs in their second semester at Cornell.

“I don’t think I took full advantage of ClubFest during the fall,” said Tyrell Ehimwenma ’23. “This time around I’m trying to join more clubs and be more involved.”

After a full semester of Cornell academics, first-year students have been able to better balance coursework and extracurricular activities. ClubFest attendee Skylar Krouse ’23 said that now knowing what a semester at Cornell is like makes it “easier to find clubs that fit [her] time.”

The organizations recruiting new members encompassed a wide range of interests, from cultural groups and community service organizations to pre-professional fraternities and religious communities

“I think ClubFest is the easiest way to gain new members,” said Kelly Liu ’21. Liu was with her group Knit With Care, a community service club whose main project is to knit blankets and donate them to homeless shelters. She uses this time to engage in conversation with prospective members.

“There is a lot of traffic and you can go out and talk to people instead of hoping that they will see your quarter cards,” Liu explained.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Kelly Liu’s class year. Kelly is a member of the Class of 2021, not 2022.