By Leah Jones, Features Editor
Bailee Warsing, freshman, computer science sat at one of the grated iron tables on the North Campus Quad with her wide eyes, bright smile, and backpack, amidst a forest of red striped tents at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Fall Expo on Tuesday. Warsing said that she liked UMSL so far. “It’s been fun. It’s been a good first week,” she said. Warsing, a recent graduate of Granite City high school in Illinois, and a member of the Honors College, had the opportunity to talk to over 60 organizations and departments that had set up booths and games to acquaint new and returning students with their organizations.
One of those organizations was the Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Student Organization. The CCJUSA table featured a bean bag toss with the scales of justice framed by the Arch, the CCJUSA’s logo, painted onto the goals. Sherman Brawner, senior, criminology and criminal justice, told new students about the organization. “Our organization is a group of people that are pursuing a degree with either a major or a minor in CCJ and what we’re looking to do is help people get acquainted to that professional field… [We] hear from the courts and the different departments and agencies,” he said.
Though last year was the CCJUSA’s first year as a funded organization, CCJUSA members gained a lot of experience and knowledge in that first year. Brawner said, “Last year we went on a tour of a federal… active prison…We went to the federal courthouse downtown. We heard from a judge, a prosecutor, a guy from probation, pretrial services, and then [the] U.S. Marshals. And this year we’re hoping to hear from two special agents with the FBI.”
Another booth that Warsing could have visited was the Minority Student Nursing Organization (MSNO). Joy Kuebee, nursing, sophomore, serves as the organization’s Student Government Association (SGA) Representative. “It is for the minorities in the nursing program,” Kuebee said. “We provide support, study aids, [and] we give out volunteer opportunities in the community. Basically, it’s just getting involved with the community and having someone that you’re able to come back to, people that are able to support you.”
Kuebee said that they had gotten a “good amount” of students to sign up for their email list and she hopes that some of them will pledge to their organization. The first meeting well be held on September 8 at 4:30 p.m.
Other organizations focused on supporting non-traditional students. As a part of Student Social Services, UMSL Social Worker Robin Kimberlin, hosted a table with information about Students Who Are Parents (SWAP). “This is basically a resource sharing initiative for students who have children… Student volunteers, who are called SWAP ambassadors… post things on Facebook, everything from recipes, to community events happening, to tips for parents, to things going on on campus,” Kimberlin said.
The table also boasted a “SWAP Survival Guide,” which urged students to get a planner, talk to their teachers and make connections via SWAP and TritonSync. They also handed out a flyer for family friendly events on campus. Kimberlin said, “We just want student parents to know that they’re not the only ones and that we’ve got their back.”
Students milled through the tables from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with many signing up for one of the Fall Expo’s many featured organizations and departments. Like all students, Warsing will be busy during her first semester on campus. However, she did think that she would have time to join at least one organization. “I think that I am going to Environmental Adventure Organization, because they do a lot of outdoorsy things and they do trips and it seems like stuff that’s really fun. They seem like a nice group,” she said.
For more information on student organizations, visit the student organization’s portal on TritonSync.