The Involvement Center hosted the Student Involvement and Employment EXPO, a career and involvement fair, Tuesday, Feb. 6, from noon to 4:30 p.m. inside of the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium. The second day of the 2018 Involvement Week saw a multitude of students walk around a circle of connected tables that displayed the various organizations and employment opportunities this campus has to offer.
Organizations such as the the Transfer Instructional Mentors (TIMs) program, Student Government, the new Indian Culture Club, and other different clubs where students can get involved were featured at this EXPO. A rectangular formation of tables connected with one another filled the Atrium floor, complete with unique displays and designs meant to attract members of the Kean student body, so that they could learn about the many student groups and employment opportunities around them.
Members of the Kean community were attracted to the variety of tables and organizations behind them. Groups such as the Student Organization of Kean University, which pride themselves on inclusiveness and helping the student body enjoy their time on campus. Tezhanae Jackson, a senior majoring in marketing and the executive treasurer of Student Organization, attests these facts to what her organization does every day.
“Student Organization has been here for a very long time, and we ensure that students are having fun inside and outside of the classroom, making sure their experience at the University is good,” Jackson said. “We serve as a liaison between students and administration. When students have issues, questions, wants and needs on campus, it is our responsibility to serve them. We want to know what they need and want, and we will try our best to get to them.”
Other service groups at the EXPO take the satisfaction of helping others get the service they need. Groups like the Transfer Instructional Mentors (TIM), which pride themselves on accommodating new transfer students into the University to not only familiarize them with the campus, but increase their comfortability at their new school. Sateedrah Beckwith, a senior majoring in chemistry with a biology minor and Tojleeyah Shuler, a sophomore majoring in psychology with a health education minor, are both members of the organization and transfer students themselves who see the benefits that their service group has to offer.
“This group is here to benefit transfer students. We are here to help these students transition into the school, get then involved on campus and get them acclimated to Kean”, Beckwith said. ”They can also learn more about Kean and what it has to offer, whether that be through administrative things, transcript issues, anything that concerns them,” Shuler said.
The assortment of tables on the atrium were vivid and extravagant in their nature. Designs that highlighted groups’ uniqueness and originality were shown, and sounds of different cultural groups blared throughout the entire EXPO. A fraternity by the name of Lambda Theta Phi, a Latin Greek organization that prioritizes unity in diversity, as shown on their display, complete with their Greek letters and colors, cardboard display commemorating their organization’s history and legacy, and artifacts related to their group. Jon Ibarra, a junior majoring in business management and a member of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Incorporated, thought that the design of each group played a key role in gaining student interest at this EXPO.
“I believe that it is the non-verbal presentation in the brotherhood that you see on our table. From the conquistado, which is our mascot, to the older pictures of members from the organization, it all helps attract people,” Ibarra said.
As students continued to walk around the rectangular involvement display, more information and knowledge was gained about all of the opportunities that students on campus have for their benefit. Student employment offers were aplenty at the tables, such as offers from the Center of Leadership and Service and Residential Student Services, just to name a few. Rebecca Gonzalez, a junior majoring in psychology and an employee of Residential Student Services, spoke about the many benefits and skills obtained when working for the university.
“Getting to know each community is the best thing about working for RSS. I am a residential assistant in one building and a community assistant in another building. Learning the two differences of the freshman lifestyle and the upperclassman lifestyle and the needs that each student has is beneficial as well.”
Those that attendees Tuesday’s involvement fair and were able to explore all of the different on-campus services learned more about the university around them. Students attending this fair for the first time had more of a reason to get involved on campus, if they had not previously done so.
Bryce Horn, a junior majoring in marketing and a member of Kean University's men's soccer team, spoke on his desire to do more on campus, and his personal favorite after walking around the EXPO.
"Leadership is significant to myself. I play soccer here at school, so I have to be a natural leader. On and off of the field, I am always talking and being a leader and I feel as myself I am very involved with school. I do a lot on campus, but after walking around here, there is always more that I can do."
Another first-time attendee of the event, Orest Pyndus, a freshman majoring in history education with a minor in communications, used this experience as motivation to be more inclined to add extracurricular activities to his agenda.
"Off campus, I am actually a little-league baseball coach, and as a coach, I am not just a coach, I am a leader. When I coach kids, they look up to me as a mentor. If they need someone to talk to, they can look up to me. After attending this, I want to get more involved because I want to meet more people and inspire them to help out and get involved. I may even want to start up my own club!"
As the Student Involvement and Employment EXPO concluded at 4:30 p.m., students, faculty and other members of the Kean community were left with a new understanding of the resources provided to them to fit into their schedules. On-campus jobs, Greek organizations, and cultural groups were all prevalent in attending this festival of opportunity, and after Tuesday afternoon, the need to get involved on campus was as widespread as ever, as Involvement Week 2018 progressed.