By Kate Kulow

More than 60 tables cover the South Lawn of Western’s University Center on the afternoon of Sept. 8 for A Taste of Western, the university’s annual club fair. There were games, live music, and plenty of great food, as Sodexo staffers served an all-you-can-eat buffet that included pulled pork, warm pretzels, hot jalapeno poppers, and caramel-covered funnel cakes. 

The lawn was a sea of humans, with a couple of cute puppies sprinkled in. The band had folks dancing their way from booth to booth, while lines wrapped around the food tables covered with red-checkered tablecloths. The longest line of all spouted out from the Third Bowl ice cream stand, where cones and bowls filled with a variety of flavors passed out, including the unconventional but delicious peach basil.

The brightly colored obstacle course, set up by the Program Council, certainly caught the eye, as well as the inflatable ring where many students fought with huge, soft dumbbells for bragging rights. And if you couldn’t find enough competition and adrenaline there, you could seek out more at the intramural and club sports booths. Western’s intramural sports program offers everything from volleyball to spike ball in two-week season increments, and the club sports offer fun frequent practices and friendly competition. 

Many other booths sprawled across the lawn as well. The Multicultural Center, with its connected clubs Amigos, Black Student Alliance, Asian and Pacific Island Club (APIC), Polynesian Chant and Dance Club, and Native American Student Council (NASC), were there, exposing students to different cultures and perspectives on campus. And if students wanted another way to experience different cultures, they could hop over to the Study Abroad booth, where the student attending the booth was seeing plenty of traffic from students itching to resume travel. 

“It’s nice to see people socializing again,” remarked one Student Government Association (SGA) senator, as there was no Club Fair last year due to Covid. “So, the turn-out is amazing!”

After visiting with even more specialized clubs, such as the Creative Writing Club or the Geology Club, many students migrated over to Taylor Lawn to play spike ball and other fun games. One of the most popular offerings was Corn Hole, centered in the middle of the festivities.

The game seemed to draw not only students but community members as well.  Overall, the welcoming vibe of the event had students smiling and exploring new opportunities. “I hope we can do one next year too!” remarked one freshman Mountaineer.