Dozens of clubs left out of annual university event
Students flooded Greene Street Wednesday to check out USC's clubs and organizations. Or at least the ones that could find space on the street.
Even though the school website boasts that there are over 300 school organizations at USC, only around 130 of them were represented at the student organization fair.
"There wasn't enough space for all of them," Coordinator for Student Organizations Allison Toney said. "We couldn't add more tables due to fire regulations."
Bryn Reinecke, a USC chemistry alumna, understood the fire safety issues leading to a limited number of participating student organizations, but said in a letter to the Daily Gamecock that it was "quite unfortunate that 50 student groups that expressed interest in participating in the organization fair well over a week in advance won't be able to take advantage of that event."
Lauren Healey, a graduate assistant of Student Organizations, said that the current online sign-up system for the organization fair is on a first-come, first-serve basis. But there is leeway for clubs that miss the cut. "It's okay to share tables and to pass flyers. Some people do that," Healey said.
She added that USC was considering changing the system, potentially adding a lottery program.
Toney said that they thought about adding more tables in the Davis Field. However, that would undermine the aspect of being in the center of the campus, Healey said.
"Every time we change the location, people don't like it," she said. "Clubs like the idea of being in the center of the campus."
Toney said the university hadn't considered using the Horseshoe, but since it's a historical site, they may have to get special permission to host the event there.
Students did seem to enjoy the packed fair.
"We feel privileged to be out here," said Meeta Gandhi, a third-year exercise science student and secretary of Indian Cultural Exchange. "Our organization helps share our culture to the university."
Students were impressed with the diverse turnout of clubs. "I thought it's a pretty big variety," first-year international business student Drew Marquez said. Marquez said he went to similar fairs in high school, but nothing like this.
"There's different crowds of people here," he said. "You can find your niche here."
In order to help each student better find his or her niche and give each club a chance to represent themselves, Toney suggested an monthly indoor fair with smaller numbers, such as 50-60 clubs. "We took a survey with the organizations to see if they would be interested," Toney said. "Hopefully we'll hear back from them on Sept. 9, which is the renewal date for clubs."