Music blasts from the 90.7 WCLH broadcast booth. Frisbees soar between members of the Ultimate Frisbee club. Tables set with sign-up sheets and poster boards are manned by student leaders excited to share what activities have shaped their college experience. Students gather by the hundreds to participate in what has become a long-standing Wilkes University tradition.
If the first day of classes marks the beginning of a student’s academic journey, Club Day starts their extracurricular involvement, helping to create a well-rounded college experience.
Held the second Thursday of the fall semester, which this year fell on Sept. 6, the event drew approximately 64 clubs and eight departments. They gathered in the McHale Athletic Center to show students what extracurricular activities are available—and what freebies students can grab along the way—including candy, t-shirts, pens and the like.
According to Melissa Howells, director of student development, Club Day at Wilkes is unlike any other. “Being such a small university, we probably have one of the largest involvement fairs,” Howells said.
But Club Day doesn’t just happen overnight. Planning begins at the end of April, as soon as the new student government president is elected, and continues full steam ahead after summer orientation wraps up.
Here are a few facts about Club Day:
- Club Day has existed at Wilkes for nearly 20 years!
- Approximately 100 tables are ordered for the event.
- Over 320 chairs are set-up for students, advisors and club representatives.
- A full lunch is free to attendees.
- Organizations are labeled by academics, athletics, and special interests, to name a few, and then are color coordinated at the event so students can easily find their niche.
Many prospective students hear about the event even before they enroll, and consider having time set aside in the academic schedule to participate in activities is a bonus. “The fact we have club hours is unique,” Howells added. Having that time on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ensures student groups can meet and plan for activities throughout the school year.
With new clubs gaining student government recognition and funding each year, students are destined to find a group where they belong.