All students are invited to take part in the first-ever Virtual Student Involvement Fair, running 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. via the college's Laker Life website.

“Every group that was registered with the college last academic year and is in good standing is welcome to participate,” said Mike Paestella, assistant director of campus life. “Things will be radically different this fall for sport clubs in regards to them not having their seasons because of restrictions with COVID-19 that way, and even our NCAA athletes not having their traditional fall.”

In some ways, Paestella hopes organizations will use opportunities like this to their advantage as he thinks it presents a chance for them to get creative on the virtual platform called Engage.

“They can seize this opportunity to promote, educate and get people to want to be involved,” Paestella said.

Students will have several gateways to sign up and join the different clubs and organizations. During the fair, students interested in joining a club will see a screen, or if the club is not live at the time, they can click on the “contact” tab and reach organizations via email.

“Taking the steps to email the officers for the different clubs is the best way to know, in particular this fall, because sometimes I would say ‘walk through the MCC, ask your friends,’ but because most meetings for organizations this fall are going to be in Zoom or Google Meets or other ways, it’s going to really mean reaching out and emailing the different officers,” Paestella said.

Additionally, Paestella has advice for students interested in exploring the different opportunities that SUNY Oswego holds.

“Just because you’re not a broadcast person doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t help working on a show,” he said.

Paestella recommends visiting four booths -- two one would think he or she fits, and two that would surprise students’ families and friends.

Over the summer, SUNY Oswego’s Student Association has expanded their Board of Directors as they provided additional programming in regard to engagement, involvement and, even in this time with COVID, in addressing social justice matters, Black Lives Matter or other happenings.

“Because of going remote and the challenges that would come with putting everything in place this fall, we are not sure that the new organization process will resume so right now there aren’t any new organizations of any variety, interest, passion or philosophy because of where we are at,” Paestella said.

This will mark the first time that students can participate and engage and be a part of it and not be on the arena floor, allowing them to log on from anywhere in the U.S. or overseas. Prior to this, if Lakers weren’t on the arena floor during that time, they didn’t have the same opportunity.

“I’ll actually be managing the fair from home, so for me it’s almost mind-blowing that, here’s an event where I’m used to interacting being on the floor with thousands of people and I’m going to be in front of my laptop ... no matter where anyone is they can dial in, and they can even log in on their phone between classes,” Paestella said.

When asked about the possibility of holding a hybrid Student Involvement Fair in the future, Paestella indicated that it would allow for many students to engage, and the college could even consider the possibility of carrying this out in a synchronous or asynchronous model.

For more information on getting involved on campus, visit the Student Life page.

-- Written by Tomas Rodriguez, Class of 2021