Some Foam Fun in the Sun!

Lindsay Burke

Fall 2023

Fort Wayne, Ind – Purdue University Fort Wayne student housing held their annual welcome back events this week, starting with the notorious “Foam at the Disco” party on Wednesday evening. 

The student housing organization has been impactful in welcoming the university’s students, near and far. This social gathering has provided students and staff with the opportunity to socialize and create yearlong relationships. 

Journalism student, Emily Coverstone spoke highly of the event. “It’s a great way for students of any academic level to get to know one another and create friendships,” she said. “Classes can be tough sometimes, so it’s a great way to take a break from classes and just have fun.”

Marc Wanzer, another attendee of this year’s party, said that it was a fun opportunity to participate in events he hasn’t attended before in his three years as a PFW student. 

“I loved just walking around and seeing everything that was going on and being offered,” Wanzer said. “The same goes for the other events. It could be a mini horse in front of Helmke or free subs and shirts out in the Science Mall.” 

Developing a positive experience for students, especially those incoming, is vital to their success. According to Megan Lester, events such as this are an opportunity to learn just how involved the PFW faculty wants to be with the students. 

“They offer so many events and activities throughout the year to keep us from becoming too stressed,” Lester said. “And they also want to make sure that not only is college a fantastic learning experience but also a fun experience.”

Picnic Attracts Enthusiastic Crowd During Campus Kickoff Week

Ireland Miller and Janiah Moore

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, students gathered at the Science Mall, right at the heart of the campus, to network and grab some free food and giveaways. It was hard to not engage in that event since it was impossible to not pass it while walking to class.

Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman surrounded by fellow colleagues at the College of Science booth.
Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman surrounded by fellow colleagues at the College of Science booth.

“The goal of the Don’s College Picnic is to create, foster, and build pride for the university in general and colleges, like the College of Science, in particular,” said the Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman.

The event served mainly as an information hub for those wanting to learn about the different colleges, degrees, and possible career opportunities found throughout campus.

There were 16 booths found at the picnic, such as the Career Development Center, Dormer School of Business, The College of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, and the Student Activities Board, among others, allowing students to connect and network with their fellow classmates and PFW staff. 

Students lined up early to check in for the anticipated event, with about 500 students attending within the first hour and a half of the picnic, according to Dean of the School of Education, Isabel Nuñez.

PFW has organized at least ten “Welcome Back to School” events between Aug. 22 and Aug. 31. The University also has hosted events for both high school students and future students, Nuñez said. 

Members of the Student Activities Board pose for a picture as another student signs up for the board.

PFW senior Brittany May heard about the picnic from the Student Activities Board (SAB) Instagram.

“I try to hit up all PFW events on campus for the fun and free giveaways,” said May.

There were free sandwiches from Firehouse Subs and Subway, and giveaways for items like notepads, pens, lunchboxes, and umbrellas. Students also could get a free T-Shirt from the College of Liberal Arts. 

“They had shirts, pins, and bottle holders that they were giving away,” said Emily Tyler, a PFW Psychology student. “I grabbed one of each.”

According to Tyler, everyone at the booths were so approachable and nice.

“It was very easy to walk right up and engage in a conversation while learning things about my college that I didn’t know, even going into my senior year of college.”

For Nursing student Paige Cavanaugh, the food was the favorite part of the event. 

The food and giveaway ticket every student was handed once checking in.

“With this hot weather, the only thing that really keeps me focused is the next meal I’m going to eat,” Cavanaugh said. “It definitely helps balance the knowledge that is gained during these sorts of things.”

The Don’s College Picnic is a considerable way for students to meet staff and faculty helping at the booths. It also builds connections and associations with their colleges as well. 

“For example, a psychology or biology major cannot help but realize those departments are part of the College of Science when they visit our table,” Dean Friedman said. 

To stay informed on what happens around campus this semester, visit the Purdue University Fort Wayne website and check out the upcoming events calendar. 

Purdue Fort Wayne’s Fall 2023 Connections Fair

Dezaray Clawson

On Aug. 31, over 90 student organizations set up shop on the Science Mall to recruit new participants and share their messages at the Purdue Fort Wayne Campus Connections Fair. Students looking to join clubs and find their place on campus lined up throughout the area to look around.

The Purdue Fort Wayne Connections Fair is an event held at the beginning of every semester as an opportunity for students to connect with local on and off campus organizations. This year, students could check in and receive a Purdue Fort Wayne tote bag to start before travelling to each table, many of which offered candy or other trinkets and toys.

One of the organizations holding a booth was the Photography Club, who are dedicated to the education and appreciation of photography.

“We are a group of creative people looking to find other creative people to appreciate the art of photography,” said club president Madison Foreman.

Like many other clubs found throughout campus, the Connections Fair is considered to be one of the best sources for sign-ups. The Photography Club ended the day with a total of 90 students registering to join.

“It’s great way to meet so many new people,” said Foreman. “We welcome people of all ability levels, so we’re an option for anyone attending.”

Not all groups attending were student organizations. Some other groups came out for a chance to make connections with the students. One group present was the Northeast Indiana chapter of the National Organization for Women.

“We’re here today to find potential new members but also to help young people register to vote,” said Chapter President Keiran O’Dowd.

NOW is “an intersectional, multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights”, and the organization can be found on Facebook. Students who stopped by their booth had the opportunity to sign up and join the chapter, register to vote, or check if their voting district had changed.

“A lot of people aren’t aware the lines are redrawn every 10 years,” O’Dowd said. “Just because you voted back in 2020, doesn’t mean you’re currently registered if your district changed.”

The Connections Fair doesn’t just benefit groups, it also allows new and returning students to find their new passion and meet others with similar interests.

One of the students in attendance was Sophia Cheng, a freshman engineering student who just moved to Fort Wayne from California. For Cheng, it was a chance for her to meet like-minded individuals and find some new friends.

“So far I only know a few people from my classes and my roommate,” she said. “I’m hoping to join a club and meet some new people.”

One of Cheng’s favorite booths to stop by was the Q Center, one of her reasonings was because they were offering various stickers as well as pronoun pins.

 As for clubs to join, she ended up finding a couple that worked for her.

“I joined the Asian American club and the Table Top RPG club,” Cheng said. “I loved seeing all the clubs in one place and hearing about what each one does.”

For those who were unsure if whether the Connections Fair would be worthy of their time, Cheng recommended coming in the future.

“It’s an amazing way to find clubs that you haven’t heard of yet.”

If you missed this semester’s Connections Fair, you can find a full list of student organizations on PFW’s website.