By Jaci Schneider, Copy Editor
Before they even began classes, freshmen had the opportunity to learn about the different clubs and groups at the university in a student involvement fair set up by the Students’ Association.
From noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, freshmen browsed through 45 tables and displays set up by upperclassmen in the Hilton Room of the Campus Center.
Melanie Booker, vice president of SA, said the opportunity to connect with freshmen before classes began was invaluable.
Members of SA worked with Eric Gumm, co-chair of Welcome Week, to organize the fair. SA was in charge of organizing the student groups, while Gumm made sure the freshmen knew about the event.
The Hilton Room milled with wandering freshmen, who browsed displays, listened to jazz music and wrote their names on sign-up sheets.
Participants in the event said it was a success.
Casey Bingham, junior political science major from Conroe, said he liked the idea of the involvement fair. In the past, when incoming freshmen learned about student groups during Passport, Bingham said too much “hustle and bustle” was involved to grab the attention of the students.
“You get a lot better quality of people,” Bingham said, “rather than just a bunch of people bored in line at Passport.”
In about 45 minutes, Bingham said he had seven people sign up to be involved in the College Republicans.
“We’re eager to have freshman sign up and get involved on campus,” Bingham said.
Miranda Walker, freshman journalism major from Salina, Kan., said she also liked being able to participate in the fair.
“It’s a really neat way for freshmen to know different ways to get involved,” she said. “I’ve already seen some [groups] that I didn’t even know existed.”
Music from the jazz ensemble lightened the atmosphere of the fair and drew freshman into the Hilton Room from the Bean during the lunch hour. Students in groups ranging from the Swing Cats to SA to the International Justice Mission spent their Saturday telling freshmen about on-campus ways to be involved.
“This was such a great idea,” Booker said. “We should have done this years ago.”