BY LEAH MORROW
“O Captain! my Captain,” Robin Williams once proclaimed in his iconic role of the poet, John Keats, in the movie Dead Poets Society.
These four words, first written by American poet Walt Whitman, became a symbol of unity and belonging within the society.
On Jan. 22 Student Life and Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) worked together to give new meaning to the term unity by hosting the Get Involved Fair at the Doon campus.
There were booths for seven different services, including Bridges to Success, part of Accessibility Services, Student Life, marketing, athletics and clubs.
Laura Black, Student Life programmer, said events like the Get Involved Fair are held specifically to promote a sense of community. She said it is the perfect opportunity for students to find out everything that is going on around the campus from events and volunteering to workshops and ways to get involved.
“People are very hesitant to commit and get involved and talk to one another but that’s really what building a community is all about, you never know what one conversation is going to lead to,” she said.
Black said that now, with everyone so focused on school, phones and emails, it has become harder to have one-on-one conversations with people.
“It is easy to put that aside and avoid it all together,” she said.
She added the most surprising thing about the fair is that all the people involved with it want to do is have a conversation. She believes there is a mutual benefit to the conversations.
“The more you get to know people in the college,” she said, “the more comfortable you will feel in the space. Whether that’s through a club, through a department here or through volunteering in some way.”
Black believes that classes are not the only reason to attend college. She said it is about having conversations and learning from one another.
Chris Hussey a second-year journalism print student and one of the founding members of Conestoga in Action (a club devoted to creating real and positive change on campus), said there is something for everyone.
“There are a lot of cool clubs,” he said. “Like the music club, which is basically just one big jam session. There are, like, four dancing clubs, an accounting club, Toastmasters and the chess club. There are a lot of options for students to do stuff, like volunteering and doing massive events or just have fun with people.”
He said these opportunities give people a sense of meaning and purpose.
Though most students will not be standing on the tops of their desks shouting “O Captain! my Captain!” to show their sense of solidarity, they could do so by getting involved.
As Black said, all it takes is one conversation.