The University of La Verne’s student organizations are gearing up for a semester of campus engagement despite having to do it remotely for the first two weeks of class. The University held its virtual Greek Involvement Fair on Monday and its Student Organization Fair on Wednesday, both via Zoom.
“I think I speak for a good majority saying La Verne is a big commuter campus and so being a part of an organization is not essential, I think, but it is really important just to have that sense of community,” Ariana Castañeda, vice president of recruitment and junior psychology major, said.
“I think Greek Life is a great starting point to network on campus,” Stephanie Khatchadourian, College Panhellenic Association president and senior biology and chemistry major, said.
Student organizations coordinator and senior criminology major Julieanna Duran said due to the Omicron surge on campus, an online fair was the best option.
Several individual Zoom meeting rooms hosted by various organizations were open to students, who were encouraged to ask questions and get a sense of what the organization was all about. It was relaxed and informal — students could drop in for as little or as long as they wanted.
Between both days, every individual Zoom meeting room was different. Some virtual rooms had a single person answering questions while some offered full panels giving a presentation. One organization, theater honor society Alpha Psi Omega, even had prospective members play a Kahoot! game. Students could get from room to room on the Campus Labs website.
At ULV, there are just two fraternities and four sororities on campus.
“We are proud of how close we are to each other. There’s only 10 of us, yes, but each and every single one of us have each other’s back,” President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Adrian Sosa, senior business administration major, said.
Though they speak for Greek life specifically, both a network and a sense of community can be built through many different organizations on campus, including the Campus Activities Board, the International Student Organization and the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, to name a few.
Gabriella Cummings, junior public relations major, is the Campus Activities Board co-chair and said CAB plans all of the events for traditional undergraduate students.
One such event, highlighted by philanthropy chair and junior political science major Regina Gonzales, is the Black History Month story raffle.
“It will be every Friday for the rest of February,” Gonzalez said. “Raffle winners will be contributing to Black businesses of their choice.”
A student does not have to join an organization to get involved — attending events is a great way to engage with peers. Representing over 46 different organizations, La Verne students demonstrated how there is a place for everyone on campus even amidst the trials of a pandemic.
Olivia Modarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olivia Modarelli, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.