Fall Fest promotes minority involvement

Thursday, September 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:09 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rushing around a circle of tables, students filled their hands with packets and brochures while a crowd gathered to get a good spot to watch the step show. Others were busy enjoying free barbecue. The atmosphere was busy as students of many different backgrounds interacted with each other Wednesday evening, kicking off the year at MU Black Culture Center's annual Fall Fest. The event, held at MU's Kuhlman Court behind Brady Commons, featured an assortment of businesses, student organizations and academic departments to promote minority student involvement.

One organization represented at the event was Inroads, an organization that helps minority students get paid internships in fields of study that include business, nursing, liberal arts and computer science.

"This has been something that we have been participating in for the past four or five years," said Bobby Collins, who represented the organization. "It is a great opportunity to get the word out to minority students of what we have to offer."

Fall Fest has been an annual event for more than 20 years. Amanda Clarence, director of MU's Black Culture Center, said there were about 50 tables set up to accommodate over 80 participating organizations and businesses. Clarence emphasized the wide range of opportunities presented to students.

"I learned some valuable information about clubs and I learned about a medical club that I didn't even know we had," said MU junior Ray Brown.

The event also included a disc jockey, barbecue and a Greek step show. All of the active black fraternities and sororities on campus participated in the show.

Senior Emmakate Young said she came specifically for the entertainment of the step show.

Mark Lucas, MU Director of Student Life, said this was part of the effort to show there are programs and offices that try to help minority students.

"This is both socially and culturally enriching," Lucas said.

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