Fair showcases RSO involvement opportunities

Austen Brown, Staff Reporter

The Martin Luther King Jr. University Union was a hub for 90 registered student organizations to present themselves and recruit new students Wednesday afternoon.

Miranda Martinez
Jaclyn Thomas (left), an early childhood and elementary education sophomore, and Katie Gray (right), an early childhood and middle level education senior, discuss being in the New Student and Family programs during the Student Involvement Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

The Student Involvement Fair saw Eastern students exploring the wide array of Eastern RSOs, including fraternities, sororities and clubs.

One such RSO featured was ACTS Campus Ministry, co-managed by Ly’Jerrick and Tania Ward.

Ly’Jerrick Ward said his RSO is meant to help students “develop spiritually.”

“(Students) can become a part of this ministry and have access to events,” Ward said.

He also said ACTS Campus Ministry hosts services every Saturday at Roberts G. Buzzard building at 11 a.m.

“We also have bible studies on Wednesdays in the MLK Union,” he said.

Ward said students involved can form lasting friendships among other members of the RSO in addition to academic and social help.

He said those involved could have a reliable support system and mentorship from fellow students, as well as a source of encouragement.

“Our events are pretty much geared towards helping (students) grow in their faith,” Ward said.

He said the RSO’s events include potlucks, movie nights, dances and bowling nights.

“Even though it is a spiritual organization, it is geared towards fellowship activities too,” he said.

He said the RSO typically has 30 to 45 students involved.

Another organization present was the EIU College Republicans, represented by Noah Hile, a freshman secondary education in mathematics major.

Hile said his RSO has 10 to 15 active members.

He said the purpose of the organization is for “conservative-minded people to get together and talk about different political issues.”

“We do fun events too,” Hile said. “We host pizza parties sometimes … so it doesn’t necessarily always have to be political.”

He also expressed his thoughts on the animosity between democrats and republicans on college campuses.

“There’s a clear difference between the political sides here. You can clearly see that there’s a lot of liberals on campus and I think there’s a lot of conservatives that are afraid to speak out,” he said.

He said the EIU College Republicans provide a voice for the few republicans on campus at Eastern.

“When you go on campus and one person claims to be republican, it’s kind of hard to battle the hundreds of people that are against you,” he said.

The EIU College Democrats is currently not an active RSO at Eastern.

Eastern’s Chemistry Club was also in attendance, represented by chemistry professor Ed Treadwell.

Treadwell said the goal of the club was primarily to promote chemistry to students.

“We are a part of a national organization called the American Chemical Society, which is the biggest chemistry organization, so we are a student affiliate of that,” Treadwell said.

The organization celebrates National Chemistry Week, so his RSO also hosts events during that week, which is recognized on the third week of October every year, he said.

The club also celebrates Earth Day.

“We like to go on tours to see what local chemistry or science places are like,” Treadwell said.

One such place was the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agricultural research lab in Peoria, Illinois.

He said the club also does fun activities such as bowling and game nights.

Several sororities and fraternities appeared at the event, including Sigma Pi and Delta Chi fraternities and Delta Zeta and Sigma sororities, among others.

Austen Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].