09/29/2011 07:00:00

Students Get a Taste of Social Life on Campus

If you feed them, they will come. That riff on a famous line from Field of Dreams holds true for on-campus events at Caltech.

Indeed, there was a strong turnout at Wednesday night's Club Fair, which was held in concert with a western BBQ dinner put on by Caltech Dining Services for undergrads along San Pasqual Walk. As new freshmen and returning students learned about extracurricular opportunities on campus, they had a chance to don cowboy hats and chow down on a spread that included barbequed tri-tip, andouille sausage, and corn on the cob.

"We have fun doing different types of food," says Peter Daily, the assistant vice president for housing and dining. Every year, Dining Services hosts two or three themed dinners for undergrads—past events have included everything from a beach party on campus to a clambake to a Mardi Gras celebration.

"Food is truly a draw to students," says Chris Hallacy, president of the Associated Students of Caltech (ASCIT). "It provides an incentive because it allows students to find a free, easy way to get fed that doesn't take too much time and allows them to get out of their rooms after a long day of work."

Students were clearly enjoying themselves Wednesday night as they mingled and visited booths for dozens of on-campus clubs and organizations. In addition to more traditional groups such as the Chess Club, the Hiking Society, and the Women's Soccer Club, some unusual clubs were also represented: The Longboarding, High Fiving, and V-Neck Club was there to recruit members, the Meat Club reached out to fellow meat connoisseurs, and the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) Club drew potential members into its tent to watch and play the game themselves. Attendees were also invited by the Caltech Electric Vehicle Club to check out a Nissan LEAF.

Several on-campus groups treated students to live performances or demonstrations, including the Caltech Salsa, Tango, Ballroom Dance, Bboy, and Karate Clubs.

Sara Ahmed, a senior and president of Engineers for a Sustainable World at Caltech, was pleased with the number of students who signed up to receive more information about her club at the fair. "I think it's a really cool event," she says. "It allows people to choose what interests them and then sign up accordingly."

Click here for a list of Caltech clubs and organizations. 

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier