New York City, NY — by Abi Rivera
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
NYU’s Club Fest at the Paulson Center was hosted for students to find their place among the over 300 clubs offered at the university. Instead, students found themselves corralled into a sweaty gym while club officers struggled to have their voices heard over the crowd.
Ultimately, NYU’s lack of organization and planning made it impossible for Club Fest to achieve its intended purpose.
Navigating the hot, loud and overcrowded space was a daunting task. Spotty cell service and Wi-Fi made it difficult to text the friend you were supposed to meet up with and interact with club websites. As a result, students found themselves swept along with the crowd’s current and no sense of clear direction.
“It was like a zoo and I wanted to get out as fast as possible,” said Maya Hajjar, a first-year at NYU Steinhardt.
The space in the gym was also inefficiently utilized, with tables crammed into narrow parallel rows in its center and lots of unused space along the perimeter. The rows weren’t organized numerically, making it difficult to locate specific clubs. NYU did provide a QR code with a club directory, but it was rendered useless by the lack of Wi-Fi. It would have been more helpful if the clubs were separated by categories on different floors.
The event was not only disorganized, but could have been hazardous. As NYU’s self-reported “largest community-building event,” it brought together not only first-years, but a good percentage of upperclassmen as well. The sheer amount of students packed in one room raised concerns both for the spread of COVID-19 and of a potentially dangerous situation in case of an emergency since there was only one exit.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.