Winter GrizzFest returns after a one-year hiatus

The annual Oakland University Winter GrizzFest returned to OU’s campus on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 to provide students an opportunity to discover a variety of resources and organizations available to them. The event took place in the Oakland Center, with dozens of tables lining the main floor hallways and the Habitat. 

Representatives from various student organizations handed out flyers and freebies to passing students. Some groups in attendance included Rubik’s Cube Club, Best Buddies OU and the Costume Cosplay Club.

Jonathan Karn, vice president of the Rubik’s Cube Club at OU (RCCOU), assisted in the creation of the group this past year. After realizing that others shared his interest in cubing, Karn worked with the cubers to begin hosting regular weekly meetings each Friday. 

“Before I met Jonathon Esbri, I thought I was the fastest cuber named Jon at OU,” Karn said. “RCCOU has allowed me to meet individuals that share similar interests to my own.”

Several community organizations and campus departments were present at the event as well, including the Graham Health Center and OUCARES. At these booths, students were given resources for academic support, health and wellness information and community service opportunities.

Kelly Kalanquin, a representative for OUCARES, attended the event to share information about the program with students. OUCARES provides support services to those with disabilities through a variety of sporting activities and social programs.

“I especially love our Women’s Social Support group because it allows our female members to talk about their experiences in a judgment-free environment,” Kalanquin said. “As an OU Alumni, I am very proud to be involved with this incredible organization.”

OUCARES tabled next to Best Buddies OU, an organization that plans entertaining events and conducts 1:1 pairings for neurotypical college students and community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). 

Best Buddies has many events planned for the winter semester. On Jan. 19, the group will host a free Baked Good BINGO event in the Collaboration Center of Hillcrest Hall from 5:30-7 p.m. to educate OU students about the disabled community and provide resources on campus for individuals with IDDs.

Many Club Sports teams attended GrizzFest as well to promote what they have to offer students. Some teams in attendance included the Running Club, Men’s Lacrosse and the Ballroom & Latin Dance Club.

Adam Scarchilli, vice president of the Ballroom & Latin Dance Club, attended GrizzFest to educate students about the sport he has fallen in love with. Regardless of their experience or skill level, Scarchilli recommends that students try out the Ballroom & Latin Dance Club at least once. 

“Ballroom & Latin Dance Club is an incredibly fun group of individuals of all skill levels,” Scarchilli said. “We practice regularly, host showcase events and also attend competitions throughout the year.”

In order to find more information about student organizations and resources on campus, students can visit GrizzOrgs. To learn more about Club Sports on campus, students can visit the RecWell portal.