Campus hosts U-Matterdor Fair event

CSUN hosted the U-Matterdor Fair, which featured booths on health and student services, last week.

The event stretched the length of the Matador Walk on Oct. 9, beginning just past Sequoia Hall and continuing across Lindley Avenue into the University Student Union. While many of the booths featured were health and wellness-oriented, including the Klotz Student Health Center and Project D.A.T.E., a number of other booths for student services, including Financial Aid and Scholarships, ASREC and the Career Center, were also scattered around, distributing informational fliers, snacks, or trinkets such as keychains. The event, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, was meant to “inform, engage, and involve” students in a number of different activities and campus opportunities.

“We’re trying to be preventative,” said Wendy Phelps, a consultant for the event. By informing students about the variety of services available on campus, students can use that awareness and knowledge to prevent problems before they occur or deal with them better.

Sabrina Feten, the Project D.A.T.E. coordinator, explained that the project was there to “raise awareness” about rape and sexual assault prevention. Since Feten has been coordinator, the group has participated in the U-Matterdor Fair for three semesters, since Fall of 2006. Their booth featured informational fliers and a game show that quizzed students on how much they knew about men, women, statistics and more. Many students found themselves surprised by what they learned.

The game often was responsible for “sparking that dialogue with men about issues (that) they face (?) with women,” Feten said. By engaging students to be part of the process of talking about rape and sexual assault, they gain the knowledge to be part of the solution, Feten said.

Between eating food and receiving free stuff, students were entertained by several of CSUN’s dance and music teams.

The Klotz Student Health Center featured a health-themed form of Jeopardy, where top-scorers could win a free massage at the health center, while other booths, such as the Learning Resource Center, aimed to connect students with campus resources. Health center representatives also passed out fliers about Wednesday’s grand opening of the new Living Well Lounge, located across from the Fitness Centre in the USU.

The LRC features a Freshman Writing Lab for those in remedial writing courses, along with upper division students looking to prepare for the mandatory Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. They also offer a general Writing Center for students struggling with essays and other written projects, along with Subject Area Testing, which mainly focuses on tutoring in the math and science areas.

Student Outreach and Recruitment, which works together with the Orientation Leader program, aims to recruit students interested in becoming University Ambassadors. The difference between University Ambassadors and Orientation Leaders is that the Ambassadors tour potential students around the campus during the school semesters, while Orientation Leaders show newly-admitted students around the campus during summer.

Both groups are recruiting, but aren’t competing against one another. It’s not unusual for someone to be both a University Ambassador and an Orientation Leader, said one of the University Ambassadors manning the Student Outreach booth. Both University Ambassadors and the Orientation Leaders program work together to attract students to what they have to offer. Both programs offer incentives for participation, including priority registration and discounts at the Matador Bookstore.

The Career Center also had a large booth near Sequoia Hall, where they introduced the concept of the “One Minute Elevator Commercial,” in which a student walks into an “elevator” and meets the person who can make his or her career dreams come true. The advice on what to say in such circumstances isn’t limited to the U-Matterdor Fair. The Career Center is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with walk-in hours available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Aside from preparing for chance meetings that could help students attain the job of their dreams, the Career Center also advertised a plethora of other services.

“People don’t know about registering for classes or (about) counseling and services,” said Shondi Thomas, a student assistant with the Career Center.

The Career Center also features plenty of reference books and guides, job and internship listings, and workshops to improve on everything from resumes to interview skills.

“All services are free,” said Toni Aho, a Career Center staff member. The only exception is the $35 fee for certain assessment tests that the Career Center offers, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test or other interest indicator assessments, which allow students to narrow the type of jobs they’d be suited for based on their skills, talents, hobbies, and interests.

The Career Center also holds fairs of its own, including Resumania and the upcoming Career Fair on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Bayramian Hall.

University Recycling Services was also present at the fair to let people know about the sort of things that can be recycled on campus. Beside cans, bottles, and paper, the University Recycling Program also recycles old cell phones, as well as inkjet cartridges and laser toner cartridges from printers. For those that bring printer cartridges to University Recycling Services, a special incentive is offered. They also offer special envelopes to drop and mail the cartridges back to a vendor that recycles them, and special recycling labels for toner cartridges that can be downloaded and printed online at their Web site.

Other booths included Advocates for Cultural Talk, University Counseling Services, Student Outreach and Recruitment, Housing Services, Student Development and International Programs, Center on Disabilities, the National Center on Deafness and others.

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