The Office of Student Activities (OSA) held their first virtual co-curricular fair on Sept. 5. This event, which provides opportunities for students to sign up for extracurriculars, is normally held on the quad behind Buntrock Commons where students would be greeted by booths with make-shift signs advertising merchandise and candy.
Due to COVID-19 policies, the OSA had to plan the event using new methodology.
“It was definitely very different than any of our student orgs and student leaders are used to,” Brandon Cash, associate director of student activities, said. “It was a virtual conference.”
The OSA decided to use Remo for the fair, a program that would allow for an interactive virtual experience. The Piper Center for Vocation and Career first introduced Remo to the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) because it offers a virtual space for student organizations to broadcast themselves through their own table. Students were able to virtually traverse the rooms to speak with organization leaders. Remo also allowed access to different floors, each arranged by organization category.
A month before the fair, student group leaders were still struggling in planning what it would look like.
“It freaked me out that I had to be a planner for that,” Jessica Hollister ’22, coordinator of the SOC, said. “We were definitely pushing for an outdoor plan.”
There were three different scenarios planned depending on the COVID-19 impact on campus. These included an indoor plan, an outdoor plan and an online platform, Volunteer Network Coordinator Terence Kwok Choon ’21 said.
“I would not want to compare last year’s fair to this year’s,” Hollister said. “Last year you got to see everyone for the first time in months, have dinner, and it was warm outside. Of course this year wouldn’t match up.”
Despite the setbacks, coordinators saw it as an unabashed success. The organizational structure of the program allowed for a more laid-back and less overwhelming experience, Cash said. With over 750 students in attendance, the coordinators were happy with the way things turned out.
“However you choose to get involved on this campus, it’s perfect,” Cash said. “We want to support them in that.”