With Keene State College still figuring out how to operate during COVID, a big struggle has been communication with students, especially first-years, on ways they can get involved on campus. Typically, the biggest opportunity to see what Keene State has to offer is the Student Involvement Fair. However, this year the school had to handle it a bit differently. This fall semester, the Student Involvement Fair was held on the Flipgrid app and, quite honestly, it seemed like a failure.

First of all, this app was very much sprung on student organizations with most people never having heard of it. Along with this, student organizations were given very little notice to get familiar with the app and really make something that displays their organization in an appealing manner.

In addition to this, I truly believe that the school is seriously in app-overload with there now being two different eating apps, Canvas, Outlook, Bookstore and Hootie’s Rewards. It’s just too much and new students who actually need this fair are probably missing out on some clubs that they would have liked because it’s hidden behind yet another app. Current students, such as myself, also think this is too much and I’m willing to bet that many organizations didn’t think it was even worth it.

Basically, this could have been, and can be, done in a much more creative and productive way next semester. Especially after the success of Pumpkin Palooza recently, I think that the school is fully capable of having an actual Student Involvement Fair. They may need to spread organizations and tables out a little more all around campus, along with limiting people at tables, but they owe it to new students and the student organizations to put in the effort.

I believe Keene State has to try harder because many of these first-year students are absolutely looking to get involved but they haven’t really known how. Organizations such as Greek Life, athletics, The Equinox itself and Film Society are bound to catch students’ attention eventually but what about the students with more niche interests?

I truly believe that KSC could lose students by not giving all organizations a real chance to show themselves. Yes, there was an asynchronous fair but how many students actually participated or even downloaded the app? None that I know of. And for a school that struggles with retention, they really don’t need to be losing students for reasons like this that could, absolutely, be avoided.

On a similar note, I also think that communication about things such as intramural sports is incredibly poor. The only info I ever see is on flyers when I go to the gym. It’s especially disappointing when I notice a flyer for something that I think would be fun, like kickball, but I missed sign ups because there was just so little info being put out about it.

Overall, this semester is certainly a trial run and I appreciate solid communication about things like Pumpkin Palooza and Halloweekend activities but information needs to be provided about the different organizations on campus, as well, because that’s where many students, such as myself, truly strive to make their mark. College is about more than academics and I hope that the school takes my advice and works to make a much more effective Student Involvement Fair experience in the spring.


Cristian Valentin can be contacted at:

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