Virtual GrizzFest showcases variety of clubs, organizations


Emily Morris

WXOU, the campus radio station, hosted a show discussing, recruiting, volunteering and involvement.

The Office for Student Involvement (OSI) hosted a virtual GrizzFest student involvement fair on Thursday, Sept. 10 via GrizzOrgs

Around 15 Oakland University based clubs and organizations took to Google Meet for the event, including the Feminists of OU, Students for Refugees, Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA), the Pre-Physician Assistant Society, among others.  

“Our overall goal for GrizzFest [was] to show OU students that [they] can still get involved even in a pandemic,” said Jen Yetter, programming assistant for student organizations at the OSI via email. “We want everyone to know that our office is still here and our organizations are still running even if [primarily] virtual.”

The OSI also introduced a poster gallery of student organizations this year for students on campus to browse safely. These posters are located on the lower level of the Oakland Center, near the OSI office, and will be up through Sept. 30. 

At virtual GrizzFest, participants could simply select the club or organization they wanted to visit and be automatically redirected to a Google Meet space where they could join a meeting with club advisors, board members, etc. to ask questions and gather information. 

Jae Jang, Ph. D., an associate professor of management and entrepreneurship and the faculty advisor of EIA, mentioned virtual GrizzFest has a special level of connectivity and opportunity. 

“[We’re getting] used to the virtual setting,” Kang said. “It can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity. This communication technology allows us to meet many people anywhere in the world.” 

WXOU General Manager Teyler Thompkins came up with an innovative way for her organization to participate in GrizzFest — host a live radio show. 

“I personally was not a fan of [virtual GrizzFest] for WXOU because I did not feel like we could truly showcase what we at WXOU can do,” Thompkins said via email. “In response, I decided that hosting a live radio show during GrizzFest would be more beneficial to our organization.”

Thompkins mentioned she thinks it can be hard to understand the atmosphere of an organization virtually, so the radio show was a good fit. 

“This way, students could tune into our station and get firsthand information about what WXOU is about, how it started and what they can do to get involved,” Thompkins said via email. “Not to mention students could text in with their questions in real time and we would answer them live on the air.”  

As far as continuing to find involvement opportunities, Yetter mentioned student organizations are still hosting primarily virtual events and meetings and encourages students to stay updated on GrizzOrgs. 

“There are so many organizations out there holding virtual events and meetings that anyone can get involved with,” Yetter said via email. “Also, keep an eye out for the Student Organization Communication letter. That email displays events, meetings, anything that is happening with the student orgs on campus. When in doubt, if [students] still aren’t sure how to get involved, they always reach out to the OSI and we would be more than happy to help.” 

For more information about the OSI and involvement opportunities, visit their homepage.