Emily Coverstone | Fall 2022
While students return to Purdue Fort Wayne and leave the summer behind, both staff and faculty of IUFW and PFW began the academic year by starting up the Campus Kickoff of 2022, which included their annual Connections Fair.
At Purdue Fort Wayne, the Connections Fair is a way for students to socialize with each other along with interacting with a wide variety of groups and organizations.
Around 20 different booths and tents were set up all around the Science Mall located on campus to showcase the broad variety of clubs and organizations that the school, both PFW and IU, had to offer for enrolled students. While some of the booths had snacks and knick-knacks to catch the attention of passing students, the Environmental Resource Center (ERC) booth had a not so furry friend named Clive to bring all the attraction.
Neighboring the ERC, sat the booth for The Q Center, located in Walb Student Union, Room 215 on campus. The Q Center is an organization found on campus for LGBTQ+ students who, if they ever need anything or a place to go, they can have one, while at school and away from home.
“A lot of the reasoning for our tabling is to say, ‘hey we are here, and these are the services we offer’.” said Vic Spencer, director of The Q Center.
Not only do students typically take advantage of the fair to meet new faces and get a free t-shirt or complimentary popcorn, but the clubs and organizations also take the few hours as a way of recruiting as many new faces as possible to keep their organizations running. One booth used the hours as an opportunity to succeed in class.
Even though the Campus Kickoff is under PFW, the IU Red Foxes have their own booths set up too, and this year a new booth was set up by a group of Red Fox Dental Hygiene students with complimentary toothpaste, toothbrushes, and teeth shaped chip clips.
“The fair is definitely a great opportunity to inform the student body of our clinic here on campus and the services we can provide there at discounted prices, and thanks to the fair, we got a lot of patients for the clinic, which will help us fill the requirements for our degrees.” Alana Lester, an IU junior dental hygiene student said.
As COVID hits its 3rd year of being around, a few clubs are beginning to regroup and get back on track, just like the Photography Club which has come back after a 2-year break.
“This club was around for a while but was then disbanded in 2020 for COVID reasons”, said Madison Crisp, the president of the renewed Photography Club.
Students who enjoy photography could join the club to take trips to different places such as the Botanical Gardens in Fort Wayne or a Conservatory and take as many pictures as they please all the while making new friends who share the same interests as them.
The club had a booth set up to look for new members before many of the current members graduate in the Spring including Crisp and Vice President Iris Miller.
With the 2022-2023 school year officially started, students can now go off and take part in clubs and organizations if they choose to do so with the information brought by the Connections Fair and Campus Kickoff.