Winter campus fest brings much-needed membership to organizations


Organizations populated the BTSU Ballroom and Multipurpose Room during the event.

Gretchen Troxell and Gretchen Troxell

Winter campus fest introduced students to a variety of student organizations, programs and offices on Jan. 19. The event allowed students to make new connections and discover groups, causes and activities they care about.

The event was split with approximately 100 groups set up in the community ballroom and approximately 40 groups in the multipurpose room within the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. These groups included sororities and fraternities, volunteer organizations, department offices and other clubs. They all set up tables and welcomed prospective members to get more information on their organization.

Although there was a larger outdoors campus fest last semester, this event was still beneficial to organization leaders looking to increase their membership. Due to COVID-19, some groups have had difficulty organizing and maintaining student participation.

Some organizations, including Rotaract, a community service club, are still recovering from the loss of membership that occurred during the beginning of COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, with campus fest being nixed in 2020, we weren’t able to gather members like we wanted,” Rotaract President John Robinson said. “I became president my sophomore year, but because of COVID-19, we couldn’t do those events; we couldn’t get people to come join the club. People didn’t want to show up in-person, which is understandable and I felt like it did impact us.”

Other organizations have been having similar issues with encouraging members to come to in-person meetings. However, these organizations are still hosting events and trying to engage with their members.

FORGE, an organization that seeks to include everyone and promote equality, is one group on campus who is working on adapting to challenges brought forth by COVID-19. 

“We’ve noticed a lack of people wanting to come in, but we’ve been trying to sometimes do zoom meetings, but this is the first semester we’re actually being able to have guest speakers come in and talk to us which has been really nice. We’re having Planned Parenthood come in next week to talk about safe sex, STIs, birth control,” FORGE Vice President Hope Chaffin said.

Rotaract has also been busy planning events for their members and are currently working with Habitat for Humanity and are planning a fundraiser for April.

Other organizations, such as Women in Business Leadership, have been successful switching to an in-person format which allows their members new opportunities to engage with the group.

“We’re all in-person now, and I think our members like having that option because most organizations are still doing virtual meetings, so they have that time to come in and actually be personable with people,” said Chair of Special Events, Alex Falter.

For big organizations like Women in Business Leadership, being able to meet in-person allows members to develop deeper connections with each other.

“We’re a big organization, but it feels small. We’re all close, and we support each other,” Falter said.

As groups begin to have more opportunities for member participation, a lot of them have been utilizing social media as a way to bring awareness to their respective groups. These platforms are where events are promoted and where prospective members can reach out to find more information. Most organizations allow interested students to directly message either the organization’s page or the pages of members of the executive club board.

Rotaract can be contacted at Rotaract Club of BGSU on Facebook, and they are currently looking into getting a Twitter or Instagram. Their next meeting will be on Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Eppler North 302.

FORGE can be found at @forge_bgsu on Instagram. Their next meetings will be Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 at 7:30 in Olscamp 208.

Women in Business Leadership can be found at @wblbgsu on Instagram. Their next meeting will be Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Central Hall 114.