Discover Fest to feature 300 student opportunities

Olivia Mohr

In Downing Student Union on Wednesday, Aug. 30 from 3 to 6 p.m., the Student Activities Ambassadors Program will host the Discover Fest Student Involvement Fair, which will consist of student organizations both on and off campus.

WKU’s student organizations, including more than 300 such as the Student Accessibility Resource Center, or SARC, and the Alumni Association, are invited to set up information tables and promote student involvement. A few of WKU’s off-campus partners will also be there, and several leadership and volunteer organizations will be present.

Senior Andre Dowell from Brandonburg, Kentucky is an intern for Student Activities, which comes with the position as the Coordinator for Discover Fest. He is also a Coordinator of the Student Activities Ambassadors Program.

Dowell said he believes the Discover Fest will benefit students.

“They’ll be able to find their niche on campus,” Dowell said. “They’ll be able to find the group that better fits them to be able to assist with their college experience, because we all know the students who are actively involved are the ones who are most likely to graduate in the end.”

Dowell said Discover Fest will allow the organizations to have a central location, which will allow students to discover the resources and organizations available on campus more easily.

“Campus involvement is necessary,” Dowell said. “It strengthens your network, it expands your current resources that you have, it allows you to be able to stay active and also proactive, it gives you the opportunity to really take the initiative to step outside of your normal comfort zone – because, honestly, that’s what college is about, and that’s what these groups are here for – and it’s also just to guide your college experience.”

Dowell said he believes the Discover Fest will be especially beneficial to freshmen because it will provide a relaxed environment to ask questions and get involved on campus, but he believes upperclassmen will benefit as well.

Graduate student Lydia Bullock, from Jackson, Tennessee, said she thinks the Discover Fest will benefit both freshmen and upperclassmen. Bullock is a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Activities, and she serves as a coordinator for Discover Fest.

Bullock said she believes upperclassmen will find out more about WKU, the student organizations and opportunities it has to offer and get involved “before it’s too late,” and the upperclassmen running the tables will help freshmen get involved and do a “good deed.”

Like Dowell, Bullock said she feels student involvement is essential.

“I feel like there’s something for every student to get involved in and find their space, their comfort zone, so I definitely think it’s important because when you’re involved it kind of makes your college experience, so I definitely think it’s beneficial to get involved here at WKU,” she said. 

Bullock said she also feels student involvement is important in shaping students’ futures.

When Bullock was earning her undergraduate degree at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, she was heavily involved on campus. The people she met as a result helped get to her next destination to pursue an graduate degree at WKU. She got involved with Student Affairs because of APSU’s relationship with the WKU dean of Students.

“I feel like campus involvement in some way shapes your future, because when you find your space and you meet other people, you just never know your next step or how your campus involvement can help your next step,” she said. 

Graduate student Micaelah McAlpine from Louisville, another graduate assistant in Student Activities, is also assisting with the Discover Fest. This is her first year of graduate school, and she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

Because McAlpine is new to WKU, she is excited not only to assist with the event but to discover student organizations.

“I’m excited for the experience to put on a large event such as Discover Fest, but I’m also excited just as a new graduate student to see different organizations on campus and get a chance to familiarize myself so I can better help in my [graduate assistant] position,” she said. 

McAlpine said she feels student involvement allows students to become more well-rounded and allows them to meet people.

“I think it’s just a very important socialization part of college, to kind of give you a balance between going to class and things to do outside of class,” she said.

Reporter Olivia Mohr can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected]