Alexis Peterson, Features Editor
Every year, the university puts together an involvement expo for both new and returning students. The idea at the core of the event is getting more students involved with on campus activities and organizations. In addition to booths showcasing student organizations and university services, there was also an open area accompanied by speakers that made quite the makeshift dance floor at this year’s expo. This event is one of the first of the year, and as such, is often a big draw for new students, allowing them to involve themselves in the school’s many activities and organizations. Appearances were made by many organizations, including The Current, as students were encouraged to take part in the culture of the campus that surrounds them.
Because the University of Missouri–St. Louis is a commuter campus—according to the current numbers, 45% of incoming freshmen live on campus and 88% of undergraduates commute to campus from the area—many students often don’t want to involve themselves in activities on the campus as a result of the extra time that they put into coming in and going back home. Even though the university boasts 120+ student organizations, some people don’t have the time or inclination to involve themselves in campus activities, especially those that require time that they may need for something else, such as studying or working. The fall expo creates a great, low pressure environment for students to see what is available to them, without any commitment required. Additionally, it is a wonderful place for organizations to show off their offerings and recruit new members face to face, a feat that can be difficult with people rushing off to classes or getting used to their new college life.
High school to college can be a difficult adjustment for some, and the less structured style of time management can be difficult for students to get used to. Which can often lead to them being overwhelmed by the many options now available to them, and putting too much on their plates. Eventually though, students figure out what works for them, and what they have the time and energy for, and hopefully, that includes some kind of peer activity. Whether that is the Anthropology club, Student Government, or working for the school newspaper (which is hiring, just so you know), involving yourself in clubs and organizations can really help to integrate into the campus life. Even if it’s just to have people to talk to in passing and ask where to go if you’re lost. Involving yourself as a student of the university gives you a great starting point for building friendships with people in the same situation as you, and given that you’re involved in the same thing, you already have something to talk about!
All in all, this year’s Fall Expo seemed a rousing success, and a huge benefit not only for the university, but for all the students that attended. Allowing all of us to reach out, find some new interests as well as rekindle old, and hopefully, discover some common ground with each other.