Looking to help Binghamton University’s transfer and spring-admitted students acclimate to campus, Club Carnival, a campus involvement fair similar to University Fest (UFest), will be held during the spring semester.
The initiative was primarily coordinated between Jennifer Keegin, the associate director for Campus Activities and Chance Fiorisi, the Student Association (SA)’s executive vice president and a junior majoring in political science. Unlike UFest, Club Carnival will be held indoors and organizers are tentatively aiming for Jan. 20, 2024, in the University Union. Though logistics are still being worked out, Fiorisi said the event should accommodate up to 200 organizations and that his goal is to have 120 tables present. He highlighted the collaborative effort behind Club Carnival’s development.
“I created this workshop committee with the [University Union],” Fiorisi said. “We were discussing who should be on this team of establishing this lovely ‘UFest two’ project, and I included Sydney [Ferreira] on there because the [SA’s vice president for programming] and the [SA Programming Board] are very talented individuals. And we wanted to make this like a fun event for students but also have club involvement too.”
Coordinators distributed an interest form asking student organizations what they wanted to be included in the event, like specific games and food. Keegin said that during a conversation about UFest, she and Fiorisi began discussing creating a spring club fair that was similar to UFest, which sparked further planning for Club Carnival.
“We knew through the process there were a lot of student organizations that didn’t get to table or were provisionary,” Keegin said. “Sometimes there [are] organizations that are almost there, but not quite by the first week of school. So they’re applying to be student organizations, they’re going through the process, but not quite, you know, all the way down. So now this gives those groups an opportunity to have exposure.”
For 30 years, UFest has celebrated the start of a new academic year. Over 250 student organizations typically table, along with several other University offices, according to Campus Activities. Club sports table under a big tent on the Peace Quad, with local vendors and other departments joining. Inflatables and a dog parade are present as well.
Andrew Segura, a junior transfer student majoring in computer science, expressed that the Club Carnival would help transfer students adapt to campus life.
“Transfer students should catch up with their non-transfer peers,” Segura said. “Building a new social circle and acclimatizing [is] essential, for which student organizations offer vital social integration opportunities. Joining [organizations] aligned with my interests has enabled me to become acquainted with like-minded and motivated peers. We should be promptly introduced to these opportunities, so they can be explored as soon as possible.”
Maria Torres, a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, agreed, saying that the planned event would keep the transfer student community involved on campus.
“I think it’s good for transfer students,” Torres said. “I think it’s a good way to get a feel of the campus community. I think it’s a good way for not only incoming students, but also transfer students to keep them engaged.”