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Notre Dame hosts annual Activities Night

| Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The annual frenzy of hundreds of students hoping to learn about and sign up for some of the more than 350 student clubs and organizations represented at Student Activities Night filled the Notre Dame Stadium concourse Tuesday night. The event, hosted by the Student Activities Office (SAO), provides the student body with a way to see and get involved with the campus’ myriad of student groups and provides clubs with a unique way to advertise themselves, especially to first-year students.

This was the second year that Activities Night had been hosted in the Stadium concourse rather than in the Joyce Center. Karen Kennedy, the director of student centers, activities and events for SAO, and described this year’s event as “a great success,” mentioning the high temperature as the only challenging aspect.

“I think it’s been great,” she said. “We’ve had a great turnout, lots of interest in our clubs and I’m really pleased with how the event has turned out.”

The event ran from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with large crowds throughout the concourse for the entire duration. A few clubs advertised outside the official venue, such as the Ultimate Frisbee team, which had members on Library Quad tossing frisbees back and forth and encouraging passersby to join the team.

The presidents of many clubs were present to attract as many passing students as possible to join. Many tables were strewn with posters, decorations and candy in an attempt to stand out and attract passersby.

“Activities Night is awesome because we’re able to reach almost the entire freshman class, but also anyone who’s interested in getting more involved,” said junior Katie Powell, president of the Christian a cappella group Unchained Melodies. “We’re able to find people and yell at them, ‘Do you sing?’ And sometimes they might nod their head and we can rope them in. It’s a good way of reaching people that we might not normally interact with or see.”

The president of the men’s boxing club, senior Ryan Richelsen, also said reaching first-year students was the biggest advantage of the event.

“With all the newcomers and first-years, it’s good to get our name out there, because a lot of people know about Bengal Bouts [an annual charity boxing tournament held by the club], but a lot of kids come to campus without having heard much about it,” he said. “Just the exposure we can get to a lot of the first-years and also grad students and other people who might wander by helps.”

Saul Cortez, a junior and president of Notre Dame radio station WSND, said Activities Night helped him to find rare students with a strong passion for radio hosting.

“We really want a nice group of kids who are wanting to continue on with the tradition of working in radio stations,” he said. “It’s hard sometimes to find these kids who are really passionate and will stick through it all four years, but I believe that they’re still out there and want to do something as archaic as radio.”

Freshman Alexander Shyne said he hoped to be able to sign up for clubs that allow him to pursue interests he was unable to in high school.

“It was very overwhelming after the first half-mile walking through, but it was amazing to see all the clubs and be able to talk to all the people and see all the variety, from board game club to service clubs,” he said. “It was amazing to see how many opportunities there are to form a community outside of the dorm, and I’m excited to pursue as many of them as I can.”

Some students, such as junior Griffin Modjeski, had other goals for the night.

“I’m just here for the free shirts,” he said.

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