Ultimate Mingle rates as a popular event among students


Welcome Week’s Ultimate Mingle event gives new and returning FMU students the opportunity to meet and reunite with friends.

Robyn McNeil, Staff Writer

New and returning students met and were reacquainted with friends and peers at the Ultimate Mingle social gathering on Thursday, Aug. 23 in the University Commons.

LaTasha Brand, Assistant Dean of Students and University Programming Board (UPB) Advisor explained that this Welcome Week activity is significant because it brings current students back together after the long summer break and introduces new students to one another.

“The purpose of the program is to allow returning students to reunite with old friends and new students to become acquainted with potential friends,” Brand said.

The UPB, in partnership with Student Affairs, has hosted and sponsored the Ultimate Mingle each year.  The Director of Campus Recreation, Derrick Young, shared Brand’s views and enthusiasm about the program.

“I love doing this,” Young said. “I want students to venture out and acquire social skills that will benefit them for life.”

This was the third year that the UPB and the Campus Recreation Department of Student Affairs has held the Ultimate Mingle.  It is the Board’s belief that social skills are of great importance to the college experience that has allowed for the continuation of the event since it began in 2009.

Each year, with assistance from Student Affairs, the UPB has been able to fund the social for the inexpensive cost of roughly $100.  The provisions, such as the audio equipment, games and refreshments, are supplied first-hand by members of each organization; therefore, the expense is kept low.  Despite budget size, food and beverages are distributed sufficiently according to the number of students in attendance, which is about 100 – 150 annually.

During the mingle students were served desserts.  Members of Student Affairs, who provided the ice cream, made sure that the treats were well supplied, allowing students to revisit the bar and select their sundae combinations, such as whipped cream, sprinkles and syrups.

Some chose to be a part of the entertainment and gave karaoke performances on stage.  The karaoke showcases were not a competition.  Contestants were not judged or rewarded with prizes.  However, the audience of students and faculty occasionally requested encores as performers sang and danced to different music genres throughout the evening.

Although many students came to the mingle to socialize and partake in the activities, some, like Lauren Balutis, a senior, were there in appreciation of the efforts of the UPB.

“I came out to support the UPB and all the hard work they put towards bringing Welcome Week together,” Balutis said.

Because the Ultimate Mingle is well received among the campus community and succeeds in its mission to bring students together, it will likely be held for a fourth consecutive year.

Concerning the student turnout, Brand explained that the Board judges their level of success, not by numbers, but according to their ability to provide students with an enjoyable evening.

“We measure the success of the event, not by the amount of people that we see, but by how many of them are having fun,” Brand said.