By Katie Savinelli
Colorful tents lined the sidewalks of McKeldin Mall. Red, gold and black balloons fluttered in the hot breeze. Raffle prizes were won, and an assortment of free swag littered booths.
On Wednesday and Thursday for University of Maryland students, it was as if the campus had turned into a real fair.
The First Look Fair is one of the longest-running traditions at UMD, aiming to encourage student involvement. Nearly 600 student clubs, campus departments, nearby businesses and community agencies gather for two days on the Mall to showcase all they have to offer.
Most prominently were the on-campus clubs, which spanned from Students for Christ to the Guide Dog Foundation. Students who attended the First Look Fair were able to walk from table to table, talk to representatives from each club and write contact information down for further notifications. Students additionally got to participate in activities centered around various clubs, such as a pull-up contest and a chance on a trampoline.
One of the most recently founded clubs at the First Look Fair was the March For Our Lives club. The mission of the club is to end gun violence and promote safer gun laws while bringing these topics to the attention of students. It was the club’s first time at the event.
Oluyinka Akinola, a student representative at the booth on Thursday, noted that the club hopes to get more member involvement through the First Look Fair since the club is such a new development. The group meets at the Stamp Student Union on Thursdays, and more information can be found on Twitter @mfolumd.
Another realm of on-campus clubs is the multitude of musical and performance-based organizations. A-capella groups offered snippets of their latest recordings, while a trio of electric guitarists strummed out various tunes. Flyers for upcoming auditions were thrusted towards students as they passed by.
The Hip Hop Orchestra club is one of the more familiar booths at the First Look Fair. As the name of the group implies, they are a musical group combining hip hop elements and classical orchestra styles. The group has previously been invited to perform in Maryland and the Washington area.
“We hope to get more new members who care about the organization and want to play,” said Deven Kumar, president of the club. Kumar notes that the club has been present at the First Look Fair for at least five consecutive years. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/HipHopOrchestraUMD/.
All in all, the First Look Fair was a success for many clubs and departments hoping to recruit involved and passionate students.
To learn more, visit thestamp.umd.edu. For any questions on the First Look Fair, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Photo Credit: Kate Savinelli/Bloc Reporter
Katie Savinelli is a sophomore multiplatform journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.