Parkland hosts first Fall Welcome Convocation
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 17:08
The first week of school at Parkland College was overflowing with ways to get to know new students, to welcome back returning students and to inform every one of the many organizations and activities they could be a part of this year. On Thursday, August 23, Parkland College organized their very first Fall Welcome Convocation.
According to Parkland’s website, “The event included a formal ceremony with administrators in graduation regalia at noon followed by an all-campus outdoor festival featuring tables with information on student services, clubs, and organizations.”
Around noon that day, students swarmed around the 30 organization tables set up outside. Some of the tables found ways to involve the students. The Japanese Culture Club set up a poster board where they taught you how your name would be written and pronounced in Japanese. They also provided patterned paper which they used to teach students how to do basic origami.
Even with as many full tables that were found at the event, these were not even all of the student organizations at Parkland College. Outdoors held only 30 of 50 informational tables available at the event.
The 20 organizations that were not set up outside had a wide variety of purposes and many offered ways they would like to get students involved in the community. Their focuses ranged from culture, religion, engineering, pre-law, karate, nursing and health based organizations.
The English Conversation Club, also known as the E.C.C., in their brochure, informed Parkland students that, “This is a group of international and American Parkland students who meet once a week to talk about living in the United States and American culture. There are no teachers, and there is no homework for the E.C.C.”
Alongside the E.C.C, the TRiO/Student Support Services informed the Parkland community that they are a program dedicated to providing opportunities for academic development and personal enrichment. Their purpose is to motivate students toward degree completion and transfer to a four year university.
These organizations motivate students toward promising and achievable goals. The Business Club’s mission is to provide networking and teach students through local and global businesses while participating in service projects to promote business education.
The Business Club also provides many opportunities to show students or members how to manage money; this being a lifelong lesson as well.
According to Jason Ader, Public Relations Director for the Secular Student Alliance at Parkland College, the group “is an organization whose purpose includes promoting skeptical inquiry,
providing a community for non-religious students and organizing activities that help educate the Parkland student body about secular issues. These activities are open to all and we encourage anyone interested to drop by one of our meetings, which are held Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. in X-150."
During the convocation, as organizations informed students about themselves, even more students packed the gymnasium as they tuned into the Welcome Ceremony, which took place inside the Dodds Athletic Center. The events promoters even thought of an interesting way to get students involved in the ceremony, a free raffle. The lucky winner got a free iPad for attending the ceremony.
After, the ceremony, Communication Major Romel Lear explained, “The ceremony was inspirational. I enjoyed hearing about the woman who started off attending Parkland as just an average student, and is now one year later, the president of the student government. I’m really considering joining an organization and getting involved this year. The Greek based organizations seem pretty cool. This seems like a good way to stay busy.”
After the ceremony let out, Parkland’s cafeteria, catered by Food For Thought, served the students and faculty chicken, turkey burgers and veggies. The mind is a lot like the stomach. It sometimes is not all about what you put into it, but how easy it is to digest.