By Nicholas Sauma, Opinion Editor
Ice cream, candy, and brightly colored booths had the same effect on UNO students as they would on kindergarteners.
Student organizations set up booths on March 13, complete with information and sign up sheets, for an ice cream social just before spring break.
The event focused on getting students more involved on campus. After getting a scoop or two of ice cream, students wandered the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom, picking up sweet ice cream toppings along with information about groups they were interested in.
Many of the Greek organizations had booths, including a brand new chapter on campus. The Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity just signed up enough students to charter and will be the first pre-law fraternity in the state.
“We wanted to be here to try to reach some of the freshmen so that they can the chapter going,” said Sara Gehringer, chapter vice president. “We’re keeping the application process open a bit longer to attract people who needed more time to think about it.”
For now, there is a one-time fee of $100, and membership benefits are listed out in packets the group handed out.
“Some of the benefits are a partnership with Kaplan for LSAT materials, workshops for resume writing, and bringing in lawyers from the community to learn more about specific aspects of a law career,” said Colin Kastrick, the treasurer.
Of course, many students were looking for recreational activities and sports. Another new club is the Level Up game design group that started earlier this semester. They test and play games that fellow students create, as well as any board or card games members want to bring.
“We all met in a class called game design as art,” said Jo Shinn, the group’s secretary. “We wanted to learn more about games and found a lot of fellow students who shared the same interest in game design.”
The group has about 10 to 15 regular members every week, and their booth showcased some favorite games of the group, but also a few student designed ones. While they continue to build their student base, the group has a pretty big goal in mind.
“I’d like to branch into the realm of videogames,” said Brian Cox, the group’s vice president. “There’s a lot of student interest in video gaming, and it’s a personal interest as well.”
Finally, some groups catered to more personal attributes, including religious beliefs, or in the case of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), a secular perspective. The group recently split off from the Council for Humanist Thought, but they still work together.
“We used to be the same group, but now the Council serves as a more polished, atheist edge,” said John Powers, who heads the Council.
The SSA present documentaries and speakers on campus on many topics important to the secular agenda.They recently approached UNO about religious songs playing on the bell tower throughout the day.
“Earlier this week, we had a non-member approach us about religious songs being played on the bell tower between classes,” said Cara Neufeld, SSA’s president. “The administration worked really well with us, and we went through and had them removed as violations of the Establishment Clause on a public university.”
No matter what type of organization a student was looking for, the event surely offered something for everyone.