Photo Series: Eagle Fest


Photo taken by Henry Anderson.

Henry Anderson, Photojournalist

As the summer break is coming to a close, school is officially back in session here at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. With just over 200 organizations, there are a lot of different ways to get involved here on campus. However, the sheer number of organizations to choose from might be intimidating to some people. While the MyOrgs website can be helpful in presenting people with all the information at once, there is often no face attached to the clubs themselves besides a few pictures.  

Eagle Fest fixes both of those problems. Held on the afternoon of Sept. 9 from 4:00-9:00 p.m., Eagle Fest was held for the returning students of UWL. Along with having food trucks and musical guests, among other events, Eagle Fest allowed students a chance to connect with clubs from all around campus. The way it worked was clubs each had their own table along the Badger Street walkway that stretches across campus. At each table, the club was given the space to advertise. This could range from simply having information about the club for passersby or activities for those at Eagle Fest to enjoy.  

Numerous clubs were in attendance at Eagle Fest. Ranging from the National Residency Hall Honorary (NRHH) to the Ceramics Club, various groups were out spreading the word about their club. Trying to get people to know about and acknowledge their respective clubs is a message that reigned supreme amongst all the clubs that were at Eagle Fest. 

One club in particular that reflected this sentiment was the History Club. The History Club president, Jake Williams, described why the History Club was at Eagle Fest by saying, “The History Club is hoping to rebuild over the course of the pandemic. The club disbanded due to the pandemic and then sort of disbanded again after the school of education protest because a lot of the history students left.” Williams continues by saying, “So, we are hoping to re-grow our numbers, meet new people, and reestablish the club.” 

Another club using Eagle Fest to get the word out was the Hiking Club. Josie Hintz, president of the Hiking Club, describes the club she runs as, “[Hiking Club] likes to go on hikes, hammocking, trash pick-ups and all kind of outdoor adventures to get people out of dorms and away from homework for a little while to just explore the beauty of La Crosse, try new things and meet new people.” When asked what she wants the Hiking Club to get out of Eagle Fest, Hintz said, “to get more people involved in our clubs, meet some new people, and just show them the wonderful opportunities that are offered here on campus with Hiking Club.” 

Along with the people running the booths for each club, there were also the people who made Eagle Fest successful: the students. A couple of students in particular described their time at Eagle Fest as follows: Andrew, when asked what he was hoping to get out of this event, said, “I am hoping to join some new clubs.” AJ, another student, said, “I am looking for some new experiences in general.”  

Madeline Bollig, another student walking around Eagle Fest, responded after being asked why she was there by saying, “I was hoping to meet some people and sign up for clubs and just have fun.” Bollig also said, “I joined a lot of clubs [here at Eagle Fest]. I tried to go online but eventually got distracted. So, I think being here is more present and everyone is really nice.”  

What Bollig points out in her quote is key to the success of Eagle Fest; the face-to-face interaction between the people who run the clubs and those students who are looking to join. If you can only sign up for clubs through a computer, the club, in a way, loses the human face that it has to it. Through events like Eagle Fest, clubs are given a space to put a face to the name and actions of their respective clubs.