UMSL student groups promote culture and community at annual Spring Jamboree

by | Feb 13, 2023

Dozens of student groups came together to welcome new members, share upcoming events and more.

Dozens of student organizations at UMSL came together in the Millennium Student Center for the annual Spring Jamboree. (Photos by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is home to more than 75 student organizations, and last week, several of them came together in the Millennium Student Center for the annual Spring Jamboree, hosted by The Office of Student Involvement.

After a two-week postponement due to inclement weather, the MSC rotunda was buzzing on Wednesday as dozens of groups including the Secular Student Alliance, Tritons United and UMSL Social Peers networked with current students, promoted upcoming events and gave away some freebies.

The Indian Student Association, for instance, aims to help the growing number of Indian students at UMSL get acclimated to the campus community, connecting them with fellow Indian students, assisting with accommodations and offering guidance. The group also serves as a gateway to connect the Indian community to the UMSL community and contribute to the diversity on campus by hosting movie nights and events such as an upcoming Holi celebration. The ancient Hindu tradition is also known as the Festival of Colors, and will be celebrated at UMSL outside the Recreation and Wellness Center on March 8.

Similarly, president Rida Niazi said the Muslim Student Association serves two goals: to unite the Muslim community on campus and to teach non-Muslims about Islam. Treasurer Sabrina Kraus joined Niazi for the tabling event, having first been connected to the organization when Niazi gave an open invitation to check out the group to one of their social work classes.

“Not only do you not have to be Muslim to join, but you don’t have to know anything about Islam,” Kraus said. “I came to learn, and everyone was super nice and so welcoming. I gained this curiosity and I’m not afraid to admit I don’t know things, and everyone is so patient with me.”

KHAOS, UMSL’s K-pop dance group, promotes multicultural awareness and also seeks to be inclusive to all, from diehard fans of Korean pop to those who just love to dance and stay active. Members learn dances to K-pop – and sometimes J-pop – songs and participate in workshops and showcases throughout the year. Vice president L Fischer said anyone interested in learning more about KHAOS is welcome to attend the group’s upcoming Valentine’s Day party at the MSC Pilot House on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., which will feature free food, music and socializing.

Spring Jamboree Alpha Phi Omega

Members of Alpha Phi Omega chat with students at the Spring Jamboree.

A similar sense of fellowship is what drew Paul Williams to UMSL’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity that seeks to develop leadership, promote friendship and to provide service to others.

“It’s a cool way to make friends because one of the requirements is getting involved,” Williams said, highlighting the organization’s service events in the community, such as making birthday cards for children in orphanages. “It has great fellowship throughout the semester.”

President Elexis Hubbard, who first joined APO at Truman State University before transferring to UMSL, echoed Williams’ remarks.

“It’s really a great community,” Hubbard said. “You get to meet so many different people.”

Heather Riske

Heather Riske

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