Flames of the Torch

Large crowds, blaring music, dancing, and shouting are all typical of what one may see and hear when entering a club or party. It is not, however, what you’d expect to experience at your freshman orientation for college. And yet, this club-like environment is exactly the one in which the Activities Fair, held in the University Center this summer, was conducted.

The Activities Fair, which was part of the orientations for incoming freshmen, allowed students to meet representatives from various campus organizations. The fair is, without a doubt, one of
the most pivotal parts of orientation; after all, getting students involved in worthwhile activities and organizations is a goal every university strives for. But since the event was only one hour long, organization leaders and representatives needed to get their point across as clearly and soundly as possible. The room used for the Activities Fair, located in the University Center, made it easy for freshmen to walk around the various different tables that represented each organization.

However, the loud music proved to be a major problem. DJ Zeke, St. John’s own personal musical virtuoso, came for each orientation to “entertain” the freshmen with a variety of
pounding beats. All the music really did, however, was make the organization leaders’ job that much harder. The representatives had to raise their voices for several minutes in order to get their points across and describe their organizations. The goal of the entire fair was to recruit potential members; being inaudible only hinders that purpose.

To make matters worse, sororities and fraternities would shout their group’s chants every few minutes, adding to the massive amount of noise. Many would even begin dancing to the music, changing the entire atmosphere to one that was surely not academic. Wherever there is a gathering, communication is crucial. It would make sense for any music to be set at a low volume in the background in order for an important conversation to be effective. If the music had been lowered at the Activities Fair, it would have definitely benefited both the incoming freshmen and the representatives of student organizations. In addition, separating Greek organizations from
other campus activities could prove beneficial.

There is no doubt that the Activities Fair ran smoothly for this summer’s orientation sessions. However, it should be the aim of the University to brainstorm more ways to make its activities
and events more accessible to the incoming freshmen than they were this past year. Maybe, for once, DJ Zeke’s services are not needed.