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Resource fair aims to assist Downtown Center students

A student-organized resource fair will help those taking classes at the Downtown Center become better aware of the services available on campus.

The University Downtown Center Resource Fair will be held from 3-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the first-floor atrium of the building. The fair will feature representatives from offices such as financial aid, health services, police and parking, registrar, computing services, the bookstore, OCCT, Off Campus College and the counseling center offering information about their services.

“(Downtown Center) students just aren’t familiar with where things are on campus and aren’t sure what services are offered,” said Kristen Grey, a student in the master of social work program who has led the effort to organize the fair. “The common theme for us has been to help them feel like they’re a part of the Vestal campus. This is a way of saying ‘This is your campus, too. You’re more than welcome. Use the services. Familiarize yourself with the location of offices and the faces and the people.’”

Grey developed the idea last summer while talking with University Counseling Center Director Liz Droz about how she did not know campus basics when she arrived as a commuting graduate student. Grey and Droz decided that an information fair might be the best way to help others.

“How do you locate these services and make it real for people?” Droz said. “We’ve all been there, from how do you find parking to where do you eat to how do you do registration.”

Four other students helping at the counseling center joined the team: master of social work students Brittany Rigoli, Lakia Jordan, Deb Zerner and Marywood University student Christen Cox. The group held monthly meetings during the fall semester and determined that the fair would focus on all students at the Downtown Center. They then began reaching out to campus offices.

“For (offices) to be there in February from 3-5:30 p.m., that’s a big deal,” Droz said. “That’s a big commitment.”

The group then worked with Downtown Center officials and security officers to determine the best date and time.

“Doing this from 3-5:30 p.m. will catch students who take classes during the day as they’re leaving and students who take classes at night as they’re coming in,” Grey said. “And (Thursday) is the day when the most graduate and undergraduate students have classes. Hopefully, we’ll get a good mix of both.”

Grey, an Endicott native who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, is optimistic that the fair will continue in the fall when more new students arrive.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08