Fall Fest welcomes new and returning students

The event connected students with local Columbia businesses, student organizations and local groups.
MU students gathered at the Recreational Complex to watch other students compete in dance teams Sept. 9, 2015, for the annual 2015 Fall Fest hosted by the The Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center in Columbia, Mo.

Over 100 organizations gathered to welcome current, incoming and transfer students during the annual Fall Festival on Sept. 9 at the MU Student Recreation Complex.

Fall Fest was hosted by the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. Students enjoyed free food, good music and discussions on future participation with these major organizations.

The Association of Latin American Students, Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority, the Filipino American Student Association, the Black Pre-Law Association and many Greek Life organizations were a few among the many organizations represented.

“We are the resource for all pre-law students, not just minority students” said senior William Johnson IV, President of the Black Pre-Law Association. "We are here to make students aware that we do exist and if you’re interested in law, we are here for you — this is what we do."

The purpose of the event every year is to highlight student organizations, university departments, as well as local Columbia businesses to minority students, according to its website.

“I am excited to see a lot of the minority organizations, especially the ones that are aimed towards the black community seeing that it is so small at Mizzou” freshman Ashley Morris said. “The event is very welcoming to new students and it gets everyone involved here."

One of the newest organizations to announce their arrival this year was Humble over Hype. The local Columbia organization helps athletes with spiritual and moral development, according to its website.

“We want to give athletes a voice and for people to know them for something other than sport,” founder Chelsea Vaughn said. “We want to teach humility while also developing an athlete spiritually."

The MU Women’s Rugby team also was in attendance. Though rugby is not a Division I sport at MU, members said they wanted to ensure that there isn’t much difference.

“We compete both semesters but Fall is our competitive season” senior Tayler Tucker said. “We travel all over the states to play different schools and we host socials for both teams after every game to form life-long friendships with our competitors.”

Although the event targets incoming minority students, organization representatives wanted to ensure that all students were encouraged to participate, said senior Vernon Driskell.

“(Fall Fest) gives students a chance to bond with each other while connecting all students with different organizations, not just minority students,” Driskell said.

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