How I got my swag back: the Mid-Year Activities Fair

So. Many. Flyers.

So. Many. Flyers.

The Mid-Year Activities Fair does not get a lot of publicity. It makes sense, because joining a new extra curricular second semester is usually reserved for frosh and the upperclassmen who are having existential crises because they just broke up with their old extracurriculars and want to fill the void with new ones. For me, however, any gathering of trifold posters and free pens is a perfect excuse to snag goodies. I will confess that I had no intention of picking up any new hobbies. My goal (like always) was to steal shit that was already being given away, and get my mojo back.

aerial arts 2

This year’s fair was in Alumnae Hall, which was a bit awkward, because the last time I was in there was for SPG. Even more awkward, Aerial Arts was doing a demonstration on the stage… which they also did at SPG. Did someone mistake this for Throwback Thursday? Slightly disappointed by the lack of lingerie the students around me were wearing, I took the plunge into the equally sweaty and far less sexual mob. Let’s take a look at my haul:

Tech House: With a table covered in a Settler’s of Catan board and Nintendo 64 Cartridges, tech house had a very inviting setup. They had no freebies to give me, but I settled for the implied offer that I can come by and play drunk Pokemon later this semester.

That an axe is an heirloom, not even kidding.

That axe is an heirloom, not even kidding.

Brown Linux Users Group: I’m still not sure what this group is about. They talked like CS majors, they looked like CS majors, and I was mildly attracted to them. I got a CD that’s supposed to be a trial operating system (OS). I asked them if it had the voice of Scarlett Johansson and would try to date me. They said no. I still took the CD.

Scarlett, nothing can get in the way of our eternal love... Except I don't have an external disk drive for my Mac Air... sorry.

Scarlett, nothing can get in the way of our eternal love… Except I don’t have an external disk drive for my Mac Air… Sorry.

PW had a large stuffed giraffe wearing denim shorts and Mardi Gras beads. Someone from the Brown Outdoors Club was brutally honest and shouted out, “Join and get lots of emails!” I can respect that.

I walked by a laptop that had a BlogDH sticker on it. I pointed it out in approval, and the girl immediately covered it with her cell phone. That’s when I realized I was standing in front of the table for the Indy. Don’t worry readers; we’d never make you choose. Until the kickball game, at least.

WBRU 95.5: WBRU has always been one for the brightly colored goodie bags, but this year, among the chap-sticks and stickers was a sleek dog-tag. All of the fashion of the military, none of the honor or bravery, but I’m still into it.


Brown Vegetarian Society:
 Some very cool peta stickers were handed out here, but the real appeal was Adam Horowitz ’16 rocking a full on cow suit. You go Adam Horowitz.

veggie stickers


The Orientation Week Committee wins the prize for most enthusiasm, as well as the prize for second best representation of a bear head on campus. I was also coerced into signing up for Model U.N. in exchange for a free, bear-y t-shirt for my collection. The girl at the computer assured me that I would be receiving emails from them for the rest of my life, so I’m not sure who got the better deal.

I guess it's alright...

I guess it’s alright...

Brown Meditation Club: Impressively, despite all of the ruckus at the fair, a representative from the club was silently meditating the whole time.


Martial Arts and Tae Kwon Do had a lot of trophies on display. I asked if I could take one of their trophies. They said that I should join and try to earn one myself. It speaks to the kindness of Brown students that no matter how uncoordinated you insist you are, everyone still wants you to join their athletically-oriented club. Even though I can’t dance/move my body rhythmically in any way, shape, or form, the Poler Bears totally wanted me to follow my dreams and come to auditions. No promises, but it looks pretty tempting.

Faith: The activities fair will always have an assortment of religious groups that are trying to give you a free trip to Israel or hand you a hot chocolate. Though many of us may not identify with them, it’s nice to see such a diversity of religious groups on campus.

And finally, the winner:

dec of ind

The Students for Liberty, who were handing out pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution (complete with the Declaration of Independence as well): Few things are more useful than being able to whip out the Bill of Rights at a moment’s notice – particularly at 1 in the morning on a Saturday when someone thinks that the first amendment allows them to hold up the line at Antonio’s. To that, James Madison would say: “go home, you’re drunk.”

A few starbursts richer, I was completely satisfied and invigorated by my trip to Alumnae Hall. My mojo was back, and I could return to my dorm with a solid haul of free stuff.

Images via Caitlin Dorman ’16

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