Student Involvement Fair: Campus, community show students what they have to offer

Rachel Baggett, Staff Writer

Over 70 different volunteer groups, student organizations and community programs filled the University Center commons and gym on Thursday, Sept. 1 for the first-ever Student Involvement Fair.

Previously, the Office of Career Development and the Division of Student Affairs each hosted their own separate events during the school year, and this marks the first year that the two organizations have combined their events into one fair.

Dollie Newhouse, the Director of Career Development and one of the organizers of the event, said that having a booth at the event had been good way for the organizations to meet students, and being at a booth herself had been a good avenue to get information out to students about career development.

LaTasha Brand, Assistant Dean of Students and the other organizer of the fair, credited strong pre-planning and organizing for how smoothly the fair went.

“We have been enjoying all the foot traffic,” Brand said. “All the booths I have talked to said that students came with a lot of questions.”

With so many organizations present, the fair offered something of interest for every student who attended.

For students looking to get involved on campus, the fair offered over 40 exhibitions dedicated solely to student groups.

Students who were interested in Greek life could visit the individual booths of the sororities and fraternities, such as Delta Sigma Theta and Kappa Alpha Psi, or get information from the Panhellenic Council.

If students wanted to continue learning outside their classes, they could stop by the academic groups like the Sociology Club, Psychology Club and the American Chemical Society.

Another large selection of the student groups were the special interest groups. These groups included Alive with Christ and the Student Alumni Association, both of whom were at one of the fairs last year and said that coming to fairs like this helped them connect with a lot of students and gain new members.

The fair also had several exhibitions of various volunteer programs in the Florence area for students who wished to find a way to donate their time and give back to the community.

Daphine Tedder, the executive director of the Manna House, not only spoke highly of the sports teams, clubs and other students from FMU that volunteer, but also about how beneficial coming to the fair has been.

“Coming to these events really helps and they always come to me, so I thought I would come to them,” said Tedder. “I want to show them we really appreciate what they’re doing.”

In addition to the Manna House, other volunteer programs present were The City of Florence Parks and Beautification, which already had over three pages of students who had signed up to receive more information about volunteering before the fair ended.

The rest of the booths included businesses such as Carowinds, which had a sign-up sheet for riders for their SCarowind’s Fright Bus, and various banks and credit unions that offered several options tailored for college students’ needs.

Students who want more information about joining some of the student groups can stop by the Division of StudentAffairsoffice or visit