The smell of barbecued burgers, the pounding dance music, and the chance to win a Hewlett-Packard notebook computer brought 567 students to the University Partnership Center for the fall term Seminole campus Welcome Back celebration where they learned about everything the campus has to offer.
Craig Thatcher, a member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, won the HP notebook at a drawing held on the second day of the event, presided over by SGA President Jonathan Jacques and campus Provost Dr. James Olliver. Students entered the contest by visiting the booths of clubs and campus services. This year’s event brought some new additions to campus.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority was on hand to promote their agreement with the college which allows students to ride on PSTA buses for free with their student ID. The Seminole Rec Center was there to tell students about rec center programs like the flag football team they are setting up for SPC students, and the need for student volunteers at the rec. In another first, a group of students was gathering signatures for a Republican club on Seminole campus. There was a new soccer club to go with the soccer field that is currently under construction. Many familiar faces were there too.
DJRobZK was keeping the Welcome Back rocking, while student organizations stamped passports and signed people up. Among the clubs represented at this term’s event were the Gay Lesbian Or Whatever (GLOW) club, the Seminole Student Veteran Association, the Environmental Science club, the Web Arts and Visual Entertainment club, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, SPC Seminole Gamers, the Yoga club, Rotaract, Fishing club, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, CEO Entrepreneurship club, Women on the Way, Men Achieving Excellence, and the Seminole Student Government Association. The library was on hand to talk to students about the research support they provide, and the new Innovation Lab in LI 201 where students can use a 3D printer, build robots and learn hands-on. The tutoring center was right there, just as they are ready to help students when they need it. The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions promoted their public policy programs, including a series on the upcoming Greenlight Pinellas Transit referendum, and a discussion on campus with Pulitzer prize winning journalist Hedrick Smith. As in previous years, the Study Abroad program table was one of the busiest at the event on both days, showing students how they can travel the world and earn college credit. Career Services was there to introduce students to the opportunities internships can provide, and help them plan for their future careers. As I covered the event, the school social media team was there, documenting another great Seminole campus Welcome Back.
This newspaper also had a table at Welcome Back. We met with long time readers, and found new ones. We met students with a passion for journalism, the next generation of great writers and photographers who will chart the future of journalism with us here at The Sandbox News. In the course of covering the event and working our table I met Rob Tuttle, Recreation Program Coordinator at the Seminole Rec Center, Jacob Wortock, the college’s Employment and Internship Coordinator. I also met Student Veterans Association Vice President Hunter Chatters, who asked the paper to cover their second meeting of the term. Look for the story soon in The Sandbox News and on Facebook, Twitter, and G+.
Just as this paper requires help from students like Mr. Chatters to bring you the news, students need the clubs and the services the campus provides. Getting involved on campus allows students to forge friendships that will support them through college, and last a lifetime. At the close of Welcome Back, Dr. Olliver told students “we know that students who get involved in the life of the campus are more likely to succeed.”