Most of Benedictine’s student organizations were represented at the Eagle Engage Expo. (Photo credit: Dominic Fucile)
The campus quad was packed Thursday as students turned out to socialize and learn about clubs and student organizations at the Benedictine Eagle Engage Expo.
Several long running organizations were present, such as UNICEF, Red Cross, Accounting Club, Cheerleading, Dance Team and more.
The Dance Team especially is looking forward to returning to perform at games this semester. “The University has asked us to bring it back. We’ll be performing again at halftime!” said dance coach Chelsea Freeman.
Academic clubs and student groups were also present. The American Chemical Society Club brought in several interested recruits. Various medical clubs focused on providing information and resources for students and reached out to students interested in their specific areas of expertise, such as the American Medical Student Association, Pre-Dental Club, Pre-PA Club, and Pharmacy Club.
Along with the spiritual aspects of the university, plenty of religious clubs and organizations ran tables. The campus ministry was of course present as well as the Hindu Student Association.
Student groups centered around specific ethnic backgrounds were present including the Polish club, South Asian Student Association, and Association of Latin American students. These clubs demonstrate the diverse nature of the Benedictine community. The Black Student Union (BSU), one of the longest standing student groups on campus also had a constant stream of traffic.
“We actually date back to 1969, though we weren’t called the Black Student Union back then. We’re actually the second oldest student organization on campus. The student government’s been around longer though” said Cameron Hope, president of BSU.
Many of these clubs found themselves in hard times throughout the past two semesters with in person activities on campus being almost nonexistent. President of “Students for Palestine” recalled the difficulty of operating virtually, as “a lot of our events had been on campus.”
The Theta Phi Alpha female fraternity also recalled having issues, especially as they had only just gotten started when the pandemic first struck.
“We had been emerging since 2017, and became official in 2019, just in time for the pandemic” said Cristina Cabrera, head of the fraternity. “It really challenged our sisterhood. Especially in our communication ability.”
Additionally, some clubs were just starting out using this opportunity to get as many interested students as possible for their first semester. The LGBTQ+ community received new representation in the new Queers and Allies club. Campus Connections, a group dedicated to socialization for autistic members of the Benedictine community also got started this semester, with its new president Kimberly Viehmann. This semester also saw the introduction of a brand-new E-Sports club.
Students also had an opportunity to just play around and have fun. Many of the organizations gave out candy and treats to interested passersby. There were also three inflatable attractions open for student use, such as a spinning pole dodge, a field goal kick, and even a bull ride. The expo provided much-needed outdoor activity after two semesters of constant campus isolation.