After COVID-19 restrictions shifted classes and activities to an online format in 2020, many of Salt Lake Community College’s clubs and departments struggled to connect with new students.
The SLCC Mega Fair – a biannual event in which students can explore opportunities available outside of the classroom – also relocated online, further dampening student engagement with the college.
“Last year, we did the [Mega Fair] virtually, and it was a real challenge,” said Michael Evans, interim coordinator for the Thayne Center. “We did not get a lot of attendance or club exposure.”
Theater major and member of the Drama Club, Luke Jensen, described a similar situation when he hosted the virtual table for the Drama Club last year, saying that attendance was almost nonexistent.
“The whole time I was running the table, no one stopped by to see it,” Jensen said.
Following a resumption of in-person learning this fall semester, the Mega Fair returned to the Jordan, South City and Redwood campuses the second week of September.
Various groups at SLCC assembled their canopies, decorated their tables with treats and activities, and engaged with attendees in person.
For many, the fall 2021 Mega Fair was the first community event to resemble on-campus normalcy of the pre-pandemic era, even though an ample amount of those in attendance continued to wear masks.
“[The GSSRC] had hosted smaller-scale events, but nothing of this size,” said Peter Moosman, coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center. “Multi-campus, multi-day – lots of people are here.”
Jensen hosted the Drama Club table again this year and noted a stark difference in student interest.
“This has been an awesome change,” Jensen said. “We’ve gotten to talk to a lot of people that we don’t normally get to see. It’s really nice to be able to connect with the other clubs and see what they’ve got going on.”
Evans shared Jensen’s sentiments and described the return of the Mega Fair as “reinvigorating,” though he also acknowledged that attendance is likely still reduced due to the ongoing state of COVID-19.
For a complete list of clubs and organizations available at SLCC, visit the SLCC Campus Groups webpage.