RSOs put on spring semester membership drives at SGA Spotlight event

Charlotte Bodak/Staff Photographer Mount Clemens sophomore Erica Freckleton practices juggling for the first time while in front of the Juggling and Circus Arts Club booth during RSO night Monday evening at the CMU Events Center. "It was a lot easier than I thought," said Freckleton. "I have absolutely no hand eye coordination so I'm sure that if I can do it anyone can do it."

Michelle Shamaly said about 80 registered student organizations participated in the Student Government Association’s second RSO Spotlight event.

The event was held at 7 p.m. Monday in the Events Center.

“This is our second year hosting this event; it used to be run through the Office of Student Life,” Shamaly said.

Last year was a much smaller event held in the Bovee University Center Rotunda and this year the amount of participation has increased significantly, she said.

“Since most of SGA is organized by different representatives of different organizations, we wanted to give them a chance to showcase their organizations and (get) more members,” Shamaly said.

She said this event gave the RSOs experience promoting their organizations and a chance to network with other organizations while building a community.

“I think it is important because not everyone can come to the fall semester MAINstage and it is just a really good way to get your organization out there,” said Mesick sophomore Anelisa Bailey.

Bailey is a member of Spanish Club, which is open to all students.

“Anybody in any Spanish class is able to come to Spanish Club," she said. "It is a way to practice the language and we put on fun activities."

Other RSOs present included the Justice Society, based through the criminal justice program, MHTV, CMU’s student-run television station, and Spectrum (formerly the Gay/Straight Alliance), who advocate for the LGBTQ community.

“It is good if there are people that came in for the spring semester and not the fall, so they can come out and see what the RSOs are about,” said Harbor Springs senior Seth Garson.

RSOs that were founded this semester were in attendance as well, including the Juggling and Circus Arts Club.

“The main focus of our RSO is to bring together people with similar interests and help each other get better at our individual disciplines,” said Brighton junior Matthew Peplinski.

As the founder and president of the new organization, Peplinski said he was hoping the event would give them the chance to have people become interested, even if they do not have past experience.

“It is basically about getting together and having fun,” Peplinski said. “One really nice thing about juggling and circus arts is that there is no pressure, because it is not a sport — you do not have to worry about being bad at it.”

During the event, Peplinski and East Lansing freshman Noah Benallack demonstrated and taught students who approached their table juggling and other circus arts.

“It is all about getting better at what you do, finding what you love to do and just having fun,” Peplinski said.

Sparta junior and SGA senator Spencer McKellar said he would like to see the event return every year because RSOs need something similar to MAINstage during the spring semester.

“I feel this is a great avenue to promote all the different things we have to offer on this campus,” McKellar said.

When students start in the fall they feel overwhelmed, but in the spring they have more time to get acclimated, said Detroit junior Laci Bosquez.

“I really enjoy getting to know people that run the clubs and having the opportunity to see what the clubs are showcasing,” Bosquez said.

Mount Pleasant junior and SGA member Sean Kolhoff planned and organized the RSO Spotlight.

“If students have an organization they belong to, it gives them further reasons to want to stay on campus and continue throughout college for all four years,” Kolhoff said.


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