Whether seeking to protect livestock from hungry burger eaters or just trying to locate lost girlfriends, UCSB students found what they were looking for yesterday at the 23rd Annual Activities Fair in Storke Plaza.
The Office of Student Life hosted the event, which featured 150 booths offering students the opportunity to browse a wide array of on-campus organizations. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., clubs lured fresh faces to their causes with promises of candy and snack food.
At the “Vegan Interest, Vegan Outreach!” booth, students received fliers and an assortment of vegan muffins in an attempt to attract members to the organization.
While recruiting students, fourth-year English major Brent Robinson said he became a vegan two years ago following a stint at In-N-Out Burger. Robinson said the group’s main goals include teaching students about the practices of the livestock industry and baking and cooking vegan-style food.
The Isla Vista wing of the Surfrider Foundation was also present at the fair, looking for new members to preserve local beaches. The organization is currently planning beach cleanups and events like the annual “Concert for the Coast,” a free set of performances that include raffles and prizes. Fourth-year global studies major Chase Adams said he hopes Fat Tire Ale will sponsor the concert this year.
“It’s good to see so many people excited about protecting our beaches,” Adams said. “And Fat Tire is awesome.”
Meanwhile, the crowd of students mostly wandered around aimlessly until club recruiters grabbed their attention. Third-year business economics major Connor Hartwell said he stumbled onto the fair by chance.
“I’m just looking for my girlfriend, but I guess this seems pretty cool,” Hartwell said.
The biggest draw to the event, however, was the music and dance show, in which several students gathered to watch the performances. The Iaorana te Otea Polynesian Dance club – clad in coconut bras and grass skirts – garnered a crowd with its war dance.
UCSB alumnus Areo Saffarzadeh led Musicians Making a Difference, which also performed at the event. After their set, Saffarzadeh said MMD evolved out of tutoring sessions with kids from I.V. Elementary School.
Initially, Saffarzadeh said he would tutor the kids and use music lessons as a reward for getting their schoolwork done. With the help of a grant, his program has grown with more instruments and tutors than before.