By: Kristin Helf, Staff Writer
On Sunday afternoon, Tiger Plaza became an expo for fraternities, sororities and multicultural student organizations. Set It Off! welcomed new students to explore Greek life and the various organizations advised by the Center for Student Diversity.
“We start involving [new students] as soon as they get on campus during orientation because we don’t want them to isolate themselves, to stay in their rooms, to get depressed, to get homesick,” Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Santiago Solis said.
Despite the afternoon heat, plenty of freshmen and transfer students left their rooms to check out the tables, music, games and prizes.
“I’m really just trying to get out there and meet new friends, find cool places to go,” freshman Randy Bowers said.
Junior occupational therapy major Alison Holler sat at Pasión Latin Dance team’s table and encouraged students to discover their inner dancer.
“There’s so many people we know who would never think to dance but love it anyways,” Holler said. “You just meet all sorts of friends and you kind of get the whole college experience.”
CSD Associate Director Mahnoor Ahmed helped man the CSD tent, which provided students with information about the event and getting involved with the Center for Student Diversity.
“I think it’s important for [students] to find communities,” Ahmed said. “So they might come here and find an organization and not commit, but they might make a friend there. It’s just one more way for them to find community.”
Solis echoed the importance of new students finding community.
“The more friends they make, the better they’re connected, they won’t want to go home on the weekends,” Solis said. “And that’s what we want. We worked very hard to plan additional weekend programs, so we want to keep them here.”
Solis encourages students to check out the upcoming involvement fair, use social media and utilize their RAs and on-campus community to become involved on campus.
“It’s called Set It Off! to set the tone for the rest of the year,” Solis said. “We want it to be very festive, very positive.”