Taking the first plunge: Fresh Fest


Students exploring their options at UNO’s Fresh Fest. Picture provided by Cassandra Jaskiewicz.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the University of New Orleans had its traditional Fresh Fest, which allowed new and old students to find a club that was the right fit for them. The Students Activities Council (SAC) went all out, providing drinks and other treats for the students who poured in.

“I showed up and there were a lot of booths there. It was nice that they had refreshments and food for us on a hot day,” said Lisa Gilmore-Montero, who is starting her first semester as a nursing major. “I’m excited to see how the rest of my Privateer experience goes.”

Each student received a “Fresh Fest Passport” that helped them find clubs in different categories. This passport asked them to travel to clubs under: Student Affairs, Counseling Services, Health Services, Student Accountability/Disability Services, Alumni Affairs, Student Government Associations, Pan-Hellenic Council (PHC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Learning Resource Center, and receive stamps on the passport for each area.

If students managed to get five stamps on their passport they received their choice of sunscreen or a portable fan. Students who managed to visit eight of the places listed won a lanyard that charged iPhones and Androids.

“I think it’s a really awesome event that the University puts on,” said Talia Has, a sophomore marketing major. “It’s a lot of fun and it helps students learn more about all the different clubs and organizations that this university has.”

For many commuter students, finding a reason to be on campus after classes is big struggle, but thanks to student government, club activities and Greek life, there are a lot of options of clubs and events for students to attend. The University has a lot of opportunities for students to get engaged with, have fun doing and add to their resumes.

Clubs ranged from the Pre-Dental Society to Greek Life and more. Each stand gave prospective members all the information they could need, often providing personal contact information if a student wanted to ask questions later. “Fresh Fest” is one of the few places for the student-run clubs of the University of New Orleans to show off events and goals. Clubs try their best to be accessible and understanding for all students and anticipate needs. For organizations such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the goal was helping to engage students and play their part in helping student retention and engagement.

“It was nice to see a lot of freshman excited about their first semester,” said Maxwell Nodier, mechanical engineering major and a junior at the University. “I’m very happy I was able to meet them in the process.”