It is very possible that many Fordham students think that #ClubLib has been around forever, but it is actually a fairly new event. It was started in fall 2012 by the RHA president at the time, Mike Meehan, FCRH ‘14. This year marks its third annual iteration.
The most notable thing about #ClubLib, though, is not its ability to transform the library, or its growing status as a Fordham tradition. It is the fact that the event is planned and executed through a joint effort by Fordham’s largest student organizations. CAB, CSA, RHA and USG all collaborate during the summer and the start of the school year to make the event happen. In fact, at its start, #ClubLib was designed specifically for that purpose—to give those groups a chance to work together. Originally the collaborators were only CSA, RHA and USG. CAB was added into the mix last year, and is now a permanent member of the group. Other organizations, like Peer Educators, also helped out with the execution of the event.
Coordinating such a large event so early in the year is a significant undertaking for the clubs involved. CJ Cacace, FCRH ’15, and vice president of RHA, said that the bulk of the planning happened during summer break.
“I think one of the largest challenges of #ClubLib is that due to the timing, it has to be coordinated entirely during the summer when everyone is on a different schedule and coordinating meetings becomes difficult,” Cacace said. “That being said, I think our group worked extremely well together and our biggest strength was that we all shared the same vision. Planning an event at this large of a scale is never easy and various roadblocks are virtually a guarantee.”
Cacace said that in addition to the lengthy planning process this summer, there was a lot for #ClubLib’s coordinators to do once they got back to school, including hauling barricades across library lawn, creating a duty roster of all the clubs’ general board members and waiting for hours for a bathroom delivery.
She said that this dedication was one of the main reasons why the event was successful.
“Everyone was more than willing to do what needed to be done to make this a successful night,” she said. “We had a huge turnout for the event. It was great to see so many new students enjoying themselves after less than a week on campus.”
Although freshman attendance at #ClubLib is generally high, in past years the numbers of upperclassmen in attendance have been low.
This year though, Cacace was happy to report that those numbers had grown since last year, something that she views as a good indicator of #ClubLib’s potential longevity.
“I think this is a clear sign that even after only three years, students really do view #ClubLib as an essential Fordham tradition,” she said.
She also called the successful collaboration between Fordham’s major student organizations “a sign of a great year to come,” an observation that is especially important given that most of the clubs’ officers are new as of last semester, and have not yet worked together.
As #ClubLib becomes well established in the coming years, Cacace says there are still some improvements to be made to the organization, many of which continue to be passed down from year to year.
“Our advice to the next group of students planning the event would be to divide the tasks early on and establish set check-in points throughout the summer, she said. “Creating a system of accountability from the beginning makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done.”
Katie Meyer is the News Editor for The Fordham Ram.