Incoming first-year students sign up for the Ohio University Wildlife Club and other student organizations during the Student Involvement Fair on the College Green on Sunday, Aug. 24.
Photographer: Lauren Pond
First-year student Hayden Clark participates in the Student Involvement Fair.
Photographer: Lauren Pond
Filipo Lubua, right, and Amanda Mansfield serve watermelon to new students.
Photographer: Lauren Pond
Aug 28, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Thousands of first-year students filled the College Green in anticipation of learning more about student organizations on Sunday, after a spirited procession Uptown led by the Marching 110.
Informational packets, sunglasses, bags featuring Ohio University logos, and other free items designed to promote student organizations were provided to students as they arrived through the College Gate from the Convocation Center where President Roderick J. McDavis welcomed first-year students to campus. Three hundred of the 515 student organizations were represented at this year’s Campus Involvement Fair.
“The Student Involvement Fair is such an exciting opportunity for first year students to experience OHIO involvement in a tangible way,” said Jesse Neader, coordinator for student organizations. “When the convocation procession enters College Green led by the Marching 110, you can feel the energy, and it’s contagious. It's one of the unique things about OHIO students. They are so ready to learn outside of the classroom and positively effect the University and global community.”
Several groups said their recruitment efforts exceeded expectations at this year’s event, he continued. “In my mind that is the definition of a successful Involvement Fair,” he said.
Among those participating in the Campus Involvement Fair were representatives of the 30 fraternities and sororities that make up the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life. Volunteers answered questions and provided flyers to students in Greek Life in an effort to promote recruitment.
"I see the Involvement Fair as a unique way for students to find ways to get involved and connected to Ohio University,” said Kristen Kardas, assistant director for the office of sorority and fraternity life. “There really is a student organization that could fit anyone’s interests, and the fair gives students a ‘one-stop’ way to find those groups.”
Besides having a multitude of student organizations, students at the fair outlined why they chose Ohio University. While some noted a specific major the school offered, many more noted the beautiful campus, diversity, and fun atmosphere.
Aidan Blake of North Olmstead said he was looking around the involvement fair to see if there was anything that sparked his interest. “I knew OHIO was a good place and I could fit in real easily, meet new people and experience a new form of learning,” he said.
“When I visited campus, I decided it was a great community,” said Emily Crouse of Avon Lake. “It’s big, and there are so many different majors to choose from. When I first stepped on campus, it was just the best feeling ever. I came from a small city, so getting to know a lot of other people is what I’m looking forward to the most.”
Nia Turner of Cleveland said she chose OHIO because of the good journalism program. “When I came here the first time, I fell in love with the campus and everything,” she said as she walked in the procession to College Green. “I think I’m looking forward to trying new things. I went to a really small high school, so I want to branch out and join clubs and see what there is to do.”
“I’m excited to meet new people and get involved in school and the whole University experience,” said Marissa Van Rhijn of Tucson, Ariz. “I came to campus and fell in love with it, and said this is where I’m going to school.”
“Campus is super beautiful,” said Alex Milesky of Dublin. “I love the diversity and how everyone is so friendly. At other schools, there’s not a fun atmosphere."
Other students, like Nathan McNamara of Clarion, Pa. and Patrick Van Fossen of Columbus, joined OHIO because their relatives went to school here.
“My mom went here, so I am too. I’m most looking forward to meeting new people,” Van Fosse said.
At least one alumnus excitedly watched the Marching 110 lead students Uptown along Richland Avenue to the College Green. Susie Lindeman, a 1974 graduate of OHIO, lives in Laz Cruzas, N.M. and is taking a trip throughout the Midwest and South, and Athens was on the way.
“I never in a million years thought that I would have the chance to see the Marching 110 band again in Athens,” she said as she cheered with them along Richland Avenue. “On my trip, I wanted to stop in Athens where I lived for four years. I’ve seen them perform at the Rose Bowl and I go see them whenever I can.”
Lindeman, who has visited Michigan and Ohio, will visit Ashville, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. before returning home to New Mexico.
“Other bands aren’t anything like the Marching 110,” she said. “I’m so happy they’re here!”
The Interfraternity Council is organizing a Fraternity Values Presentation to educate students on which fraternities are values-based organizations, and hear about what IFC fraternity expresses. This is a mandatory event for those interested in joining a fraternity. The presentation will be presented during the following times: Thursday, Sept. 4 and Friday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. in Walter Hall 235. Visit http://www.ohioifc.com for specific information and to register.
Women's Panhellenic Association
Formal recruitment for the Women's Panhellenic Association begins Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in Baker Ballroom. For more information or to register for this event, visit www.ohiowpa.com.