This past week was Engagement Week, an initiative put together by the President’s Council Governing Board led by the Engagement Committee chair, Abhinaya Uthayakumar, a fourth-year biomedical engineer, and Kelly Cross and Sarah Perkins from the Office of Student Engagement.
Engagement week occurs once each semester with the goal of promoting “student engagement in campus life through various activities including student organizations, civic engagement, Greek Affairs, publications and media, the arts and more,” as outlined on their website.
This year, many modifications were made to benefit the students. One of the main changes made was increasing the initiative from taking place over two days to four days. The motivation was to provide students with clearer information about different organizations and make the experience less chaotic in general. This way, students had the opportunity to get to know organizations better and more efficiently spread out their time among the over 100 groups represented.
The week started off with a volunteer opportunity coordinated by MOVE known as Into the Streets. The majority of students signed up to participate showed up, with fewer than 10 students failing to show up.
Another new aspect that was added to Engagement Week was Photos with the Reck. The motivation behind having this event so early into the semester was to let freshmen and transfer students know that Tech also is about professionalism and succeeding in the workplace. To familiarize students with different campus resources, a Campus Partner Fair was organized, including the Counseling Center, LGBTQIA Resource Center, and Office of the Arts.
Although there are events throughout the week, the highlight of Engagement Week is the student organization fair where different campus organizations come together to “table” and provide information about their organization on Tech Walkway and around Tech Green.
“It’s a nice way for the freshmen and transfer students to see how they can get more involved on campus,” Uthayakumar said.
One-hundred student organizations applied to take part in Engagement Week. About 70 organizations tabled on Wednesday and 40 organizations tabled on Thursday. Students received a passport in which they would get a sticker after talking to an organization and signing up for it. After acquiring three stickers, students could redeem their passport for a free King of Pops popsicle.
More than 200 students participated in the event. This year, the forms to participate in the student organization fair were done through the new OrgSync system — the replacement to JacketPages — in an effort to get more organizations on the revamped platform.
The Engagement Committee plans on having an active presence throughout the duration of the campus instead of just at the beginning. The committee is making plans to try and engage shy students to find ways to get involved on campus and create a more well-rounded campus.