Students discover opportunities for campus connections at Spring Involvement Expo

by | Jan 27, 2020

The Spring Involvement Expo brought a variety of campus organizations together, giving students the opportunity to enhance their college experience.
Spring Involvement Expo 2020

Students browse booths featuring information about UMSL’s recognized student organizations at the Spring Involvement Expo. Representatives from each organization were available to answer questions and form connections. (Photos by Mona Sabau)

A tough question awaited students as they stepped off the escalator onto the second floor of the Millennium Student Center on Wednesday: Where to start?

Whether they turned left, turned right or headed to the third floor, representatives from dozens of recognized student organizations waited with warm smiles and swag.

The Spring Involvement Expo, hosted by the Office of New Student Programs as part of Triton Spring Launch, served as a one-stop showcase for University of Missouri–St. Louis students to explore ways to expand their college experiences. The semiannual event is the only time students can find such a wide range of campus organizations in one place.

Jawan Alkurwi, expo attendee

Jawan Alkurwi attended the Spring Involvement Expo to explore a wide variety of campus organizations available at UMSL.

Biology major Jawan Alkurwi took time to stop at nearly every table and learn about each organization.

“I’m really open and interested,” she said. “I’m sampling everything.”

There was no shortage of organizations to explore. A partial list included fraternities and sororities, multicultural groups, service organizations, academic clubs and religious groups.

Nursing major Megan Ward represented Revolution Campus Ministry, a faith-based organization that conducts Tuesday night discussions open to students of all religions.

“We’re here to let people on campus know about us,” Ward said. “We’re making a lot of connections, so we can hang out with students and get to know them personally.”

Sophie Loban, Department of Music representative

Sophie Loban (center) and Nick Bashaw (right) introduce a Spring Involvement Expo attendee to UMSL’s Department of Music.

Across the rotunda, Nick Bashaw caught attention with his Viking costume. Accompanied by a video clip showing an opera, he and Sophie Loban introduced expo attendees to the Department of Music.

They relished in telling students about the University Singers, a 60-person choir that has performed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and Carnegie Hall.

“We hope to expose people to the fact that we have a Music Department and that it’s fantastic,” Loban said. “Our school holds world-class directors, teachers and professors who can give you a wonderful music education. We want people to know that, join our choirs and other ensembles and enjoy performing music.”

She also invited students to attend “The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret,” which UMSL’s opera theatre program will present March 13-15.

Sebastian Montes, organization representative

Sebastian Montes, recruiter and coordinator of graduate and professional programs, welcomes attendees to the Spring Involvement Expo.

By the time attendees circled both the second and third floors, they typically had an armload of brochures, candy and UMSL-branded swag. But most importantly, they left with new opportunities and connections with others on campus.

Information systems major Nkazimulo Sibanda attended the expo to make those connections.

“New organizations form every semester,” he said. “I’m always looking to find ways to be involved. I’m into the outdoors scene, so I look around for any group associated with that sort of thing.”

To Sibanda, events like the expo help create UMSL’s unique culture by bringing students together.

“It’s a very tight-knit university,” he said. “I know it’s a commuter college, but you still meet your friends virtually anywhere and everywhere. It’s like a little village.”

Karen Holman

Karen Holman