Thousands of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s undergraduate students flooded the Joyce Center Tuesday at the annual Activities Night, sponsored by the Student Activities Office (SAO).
Students visited the booths of over 270 campus clubs and organizations, along with a variety of local groups and agencies, Mary Kate Havlik, Student Programs Coordinator, said.
“We had about 4,100 total attendees, which is great for our groups,” Havlick said.
Freshman Will Cronin said he thought Activities Night was a great way for first-year students to get involved in the Notre Dame community and see what opportunities are available to them.
“As a business major, I know I’d definitely like to get started with the Student International Business Council (SIBC),” he said. “I’m excited to see all of the other possibilities that exist for involvement on campus.”
Cronin said he was also hoping to become an active member of the College Republicans.
College Democrats co-president Eileen Flanagan said her club is expecting a large increase in membership this year.
“We see a big surge during election years, which will be especially important as we campaign for Congressman Joe Donnelly’s reelection in November,” she said.
Flanagan said the 2009-10 Club of the Year will also continue its service events with the Center for the Homeless.
“I think many new students are surprised to see how large our club is because Notre Dame is often stereotyped as being so conservative,” she said. “Ultimately, we’re hoping to attract all interested freshmen and get our message out there.”
Teamwork for Tomorrow, a community outreach program designed to improve the literacy and teamwork skills of underprivileged children in South Bend, also sees a huge membership boost because of Activities Night, president and senior Elizabeth Dieckman said.
“We have a record number of kids signed up this year and this our most important night to make connections and recruit tutors for them,” she said.
Dieckman said about 30 students signed up to volunteer as tutors this year.
Sophomore Kat Chew said she was looking for a way to get more directly involved in student life, as well as an opportunity to volunteer in the local community.
“I visited the booths for Student Union Board (SUB), Habitat for Humanity and even the Hawaii Club,” she said. “I love being able to come out and see so many different options.”