Winter involvement fair fails to accommodate students, second fair scheduled


Photo courtesy Jace Ritchey

Dozens of students wait in line to enter the Cabot Center and take part in the winter involvement fair.

Nick Swindell, deputy campus editor

The Center for Student Involvement is holding a second winter involvement fair Jan. 27 in Curry Student Center. The fair will serve as another opportunity for students to get involved in campus organizations after reports that the first fair was insufficient in doing so.

The annual winter involvement fair is meant to be an opportunity for all student clubs on campus to recruit new members, many of whom are transfer students from the program. Northeastern held the original involvement fair Jan. 8 in the Cabot Center. Typically the winter fair is held in Curry Student Center, and the decision to relocate to Cabot brought unintended consequences.  

Jason Nolen-Doerr, director of the Center for Student Involvement, said that 216 organizations were in attendance compared to the usual 180, and 2,200 students showed up compared to the 1,000 attendees of previous years.

“This year, even with that growth, due to more students coming from, we were not able to meet the needs of students at that time,” Nolen-Doerr said. “This was driven by capacity concerns. This led us immediately to begin discussing to provide a second opportunity.”

Due to the limited capacity of Cabot, more than 100 students waited outside in a line to get in, some for over 45 minutes. Many reportedly left instead of waiting in the lengthy line.

Nolen-Doerr added that a fire marshall was on-site at Cabot and made the decision to stop letting students in once capacity was filled.

Jace Ritchey, a fifth-year justice, rhetoric and society studies major, attended the event for the Sexual Assault Response Coalition and was disappointed at how the university handled the fair.

“I feel like the onus is on the university for ensuring that students are able to actively participate in student life,” Ritchey said. “And when there is such a large voice of students, specifically students, transfer students, who feel isolated and forgotten, it’s clear that there are not the proper steps being taken to ensure campus cohesion and community.”

Maria Lovato contributed to this story