Groups showcase opportunities for involvement at Student Organization Expo

by | Sep 8, 2020

At the virtual event, representatives highlighted the missions and activities of 21 student organizations through short, prerecorded videos.
Student Organization Expo

The Student Organization Expo, held virtually this year, featured representatives from 21 recognized student organizations, including (top row, from left) Amber Powell, Supply Chain and Transportation Club; Ariona Booker, Chemistry Club; Brandon Yn, Public Relations Student Society of America; Cassie Bianculli, Supply Chain and Transportation Club; Dejah Mason, Revolution Campus Ministry; Fernande Soler, Student Social Work Association; (middle row, from left) Donella Johnson, Black Business Student Association; Jennifer Grinder, Chemistry Club; Rosa Macias, Delta Sigma Pi-Eta Nu; Wesley Baucom, Writers Group and The Current; Molly Motes, Japan-America Student Organization; (bottom row, from left) Shelby Long, Student Government Association; Savannah Boehlein, College Democrats at UMSL; Terrell Davis, Writers Group; Shannon Keys, Supply Chain and Transportation Club; Lexi Neal, Opera Theatre Ensemble. (Submitted photos; collage by August Jennewein)

This year’s Student Organization Expo included a couple unexpected attendees: an orange cat and a cardboard Pope Francis wearing a mask.

Instead of being held at the Millennium Student Center as usual, the expo was broadcast virtually from living rooms, porches and bedrooms. Through short, prerecorded videos, representatives of 21 University of Missouri–St. Louis recognized student organizations offered viewers a glimpse into each group’s mission, activities and ways to get involved.

The cat appeared in the background of the Tritones’ video, while Pope Francis hung out with representatives of the Catholic Newman Center.

The Office of Student Involvement launched a Flipgrid website on Sept. 1, which allowed students to explore the videos and learn about organizations dedicated to a range of topics: diversity, religion, politics, academics, Greek life and more.

Some organizations offered a simple hello, while others introduced several of their members. Revolution Campus Ministry set up a news report on fictional station FSN 2020, which stood for Fall Semester News 2020.

Within two days, the expo site garnered more than 3,000 views and 100 hours of video watching.

Brandon Yn represented the Public Relations Student Society of America, one of UMSL’s newest organizations. Yn serves as president of the group and took a few minutes to share its recent successes.

“We were established in 2018 and continue to formulate new ideas for growth, so we need people who are curious, enthusiastic and dedicated,” he said. “This past semester, we just reached our goal of establishing a student-run PR firm here at UMSL, called the Barnett Agency, and it currently offers internships to those who want to experience a real firm. Ultimately, PRSSA’s vision is to ensure that the PR world of tomorrow is diverse, professional and educated.”

Like PRSSA, the mission of the Writers Group is to help members gain real-world experience within their field.

“I would like to facilitate more opportunities for UMSL writers,” said Writers Group President Wesley Baucom. “I know there’s a lot out there, and I think that they should have as many opportunities as they can to present themselves and to make sure that their writing is high quality.”

Terrell Davis, a member of the group, is exploring ways to make that happen.

“We’re going to be very active this semester, getting involved with a lot of the groups on campus and covering a lot of their activities,” he said.

Shelby Long represented one of the most high-profile groups on campus – the Student Government Association. This semester, she serves as a senator and acting secretary. In her video, she focused on how SGA benefits both its members and the university.

“It gives students the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills, learn to collaborate and build a rapport with professors and staff at UMSL,” she said. “SGA does its best to advocate for the student body and ensure that UMSL is a safe and effective learning environment for all students.”

A focus among many of the videos was how organizations offered connections with other campus groups and opportunities beyond UMSL.

Savannah Boehlein, president of College Democrats at UMSL, stated that her organization is part of a statewide group, which provides members opportunities for collaboration.

“Our main goal is to get students involved on campus and to get them politically engaged,” she said. “There are lots of ways to make connections with other students on campus and other organizations on campus. There are also ways to get involved with people from around the state. We’re planning a lot of great things.”

The expo included representatives from the following groups:

View the full Student Organization Expo site.

Karen Holman

Karen Holman