UMatterdor Fair showcases services for students

Josselle Sison

The Division of Student Affairs hosted the UMatterdor Fair, where various departments set up booths to educate students on the services available for them on campus.

The casual atmosphere created for the fair was intended to appeal to students in order to get them more involved at CSUN and make them feel that their success matters to the university.

‘There are students who make their way through college without knowing the resources available to them,’ said Wendy Phelps, UMatterdor Fair planning committee coordinator. ‘It’s important that students know that many of the services are incorporated with their student fees.’

Phelps, along with 15 other committee members, organized the fair, which is the third of its kind. In previous semesters, the fair had been held at the University Student Union, but committee members decided that a more central location was needed in order to reach the highest possible number of students.

Each student at the fair received a UMatterdor passport. The object of the passport was to get students to visit at least five of the 20 departments present at the event and learn about what those departments have to offer. Each time a student talked to a representative of a department or participated in a specific department’s activity, they were given a sticker on their passport as a sign of completion. Once a student obtained five or more stickers they brought it to the ‘end’ table where they were given tickets for a slice of pizza and their choice of cookies, popcorn or fruit. If students wanted more food they could choose to participate in surveys being conducted by six UMatterdor volunteers, who walked around the event with handheld computers asking a series of questions regarding the usefulness of the fair.

Students such as Alicia Ayala, an 18-year-old psychology major, signed up to volunteer at the event through her service organization because she feels students need to know where they can get the help they need to get through college.

Among the many tables set up was the one by the Student Health Center. The educator for the outreach program at the Klotz Student Health Center, Sharon Aronoff, informed students on the types of services the health center offers. Aronoff said that the health center is one of the most important resources because it offers basic services such as dental and optometric care for a low cost, aside from chiropractic and acupuncture sessions that can be scheduled for $20. The center also offered five-minute massages at the fair, meant to give students a sample of the kind of services provided by the Living Well Lounge, an extension of the Klotz Health Center.

The University Counseling Services also had a table where Jason Kiss, pre-doctoral intern who works as a counselor, provided students with information on the different types of groups and workshops students could sign up for.

‘Everybody here is under so much stress from family, friends and academic life,’ said Kiss, who believes that the University Counseling Services can help students manage their stress, self-esteem and relationships with other people in the university by taking part in one of the programs at the counseling center. ‘Being in college is an entire process of creating your identity.’

If future budget plans allow it, the Division of Student Affairs hopes to continue organizing one UMatterdor Fair each semester.

‘We’ve seen that two-thirds of students who participate in this event end up using the new resources to help them succeed academically and professionally,’ Phelps concluded. ‘We want this event to make student time at CSUN a little easier.’