Students and organizations met on Jan. 14 in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center Ballroom for WinterFest, an evening to develop connections, have fun and make new friends.
The Student Center Ballroom was packed that evening with booths proudly displaying the variety of organizations around campus while members eagerly shook hands with interested students.
Trophies, eye-catching displays and tons of free swag brightened the room, creating a welcoming environment for making new friends.
Many of EMU’s Greek chapters were on hand speaking with students about becoming a member and the benefits of joining these student communities. Matt Mundy, honor counsel chairman for Tau Kappa Epsilon said, “Greek life is an opportunity to explore all options academically, socially and personally.”
Fraternities such as Delta Zeta were also on hand to recruit new members, looking for new students that share similar values. Delta Tau Delta was on hand recruiting new “gentlemen” who are into community service and giving back as well as keeping their grades up. Each of EMU’s fraternity and sorority chapters has some unique to Greek life offering a variety of opportunities for students to explore.
Alpha Sigma Tau displayed information about Pine Mountain Settlement School, a program the sorority proudly supports. The school was developed for underprivileged kids and also teaches environmental education. Sigma Sigma Sigma displayed another such charity organization. Sigma
Serves Children and the Robbie Page Memorial raises money for terminally ill children to attend a camp for fun activities.
“We are about sisterhood, scholarship and service,” said Njeri Karanja, president of Sigma Gamma Rho. Events hosted include “Weesavers,” which teaches students more about handling their finances.
B.L.A.C.K, Black Leaders Aspiring for Critical Knowledge, the Black Student Union and Y.B.B.W proudly displayed upcoming events and activities. Michael Wood, Secretary for B.L.A.C.K said that the core of their organization is based on positivity.
“It’s about unity, mentoring and leadership. This organization is a brotherhood, uplifting the community and ourselves,” Wood said.
President of Y.B.B.W, Velma Sellars, expressed how their motive is to support other women on campus.
“We’re out here to introduce the women to our organization,” she said. “We are uplifting women with programs, community service and fun fundraisers.”
The NAACP was on hand preparing for Martin Luther King week. The week of events begins on Jan. 20 with Keynote speaker Geoffrey Canada at 10 a.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. In addition, the NAACP introduced a new charity, Mentor 2 Youth, with a fundraiser basketball game Jan. 22.
The event featured organizations for every type of student, including two groups representing the gaming community at EMU. Coup De Gras is a gaming potluck community. Brandon Prater, representative for the group, added that students have brought everything from televisions and gaming consoles to old-school board games.
“We reserve a room in the Student Center and students bring things they enjoy to share with everyone,” he said.
Dungeons and Dreadnoughts is another such fun gaming community on campus. The organization meets in the Student Center to play games such as Pathfinder and have fun with friends. In addition to game nights they also host meetings twice a month on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Each organization in attendance came with positive and powerful messages to convey to the student community. Q.U.E.S.T, Queer Unity Eastern Students is one such group supporting the LGBT community.
Circle K, a volunteer organization on campus, was speaking with students about getting involved.
One such volunteer opportunity the organization promotes is The Elimination Project. Over 60,000 babies and women die each year from maternal and neonatal tetanus, suffering from painful convulsions and sensitivity to light and touch. Circle K raises money for The Elimination Project to assist in getting the necessary vaccines to needy women and children.
Dancers of David, the Gospel Choir and CRU are three of the many religious organizations on campus represented during WinterFest. While these groups seek to spread the word of Jesus, each has found their own unique way to do so.
CRU itself has been around campus for over 60 years, sharing their beliefs with interested students.
Dancers with David is a ministry choosing to relay their message through dance while the Gospel Choir “spreads the word of God through song” according to representative Faith Dysard.
Though many organizations were represented at WinterFest, there are many more around campus each with its own unique focus and always looking for like-minded students to join their communities and make some new friends. Students can find a list of the available organizations at emich.edu, where they will find details about each organization as well as contact information.
Finding an organization on campus, students will gain lasting friendships and experiences that are a vital part of the college experience.
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