The fair’s not fair

Jasmaine Ataga, a graduate student assistant for the Office of Student Involvement, speaks on her high expectations for the upcoming Student Organization Fair. Photos by Justin Clay | The Signal

The Student Organization Fair, affectionately shortened to Org. Fair, being hosted at the Georgia State Stadium on Sept. 6 is the opposite of “fair.”

For the past several years, the fair has been held within Student Center East’s spacious ballrooms. Freshmen were able to easily walk from their dorms to the venue with nothing more to worry about than crosswalks. Students could easily come to and from the event between classes with ease.

This year, the fair is being held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., directly during rush hour at the Georgia State Stadium with busses transporting students back and forth through 1.3 miles of one of America’s busiest cities.

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Traffic will most likely be a major determining factor for whether or not students will be able to attend. Nobody wants to sit in an hour of traffic, attend a fair and then wait for a shuttle to slug them back to campus where their car is parked or back to their dorm.

Another issue that the awkward time presents to the university is that it’s during many night shifts for students that work part-time jobs. Student involvement is vital for these organizations to thrive and without attendance to the event, there is sure to be a decline in membership, making the campus feel a little less colorful.

We believe that the fair should either be held where it has been in previous years or even at any one of the large parks around campus or a parking garage—literally anywhere else. The fair should extend over a larger amount of time than for one brief evening. Georgia State could help increase its student involvement by making the Org. Fair extended over several days or offering it all day at different times.

This careless planning shows how seriously Georgia State takes student organizations. Maybe it would garner more attentive planning if the school was making revenue off of it.

So we’re offering a solution: have the Org. Fair in a convenient place for all students, a place where traffic doesn’t matter as much and shuttles don’t trudge through the streets. Have the Org. Fair at multiple times so students can experience more and give students a better chance to grow Georgia State into a university with enough active clubs to even silence Georgia Tech’s school pride.

What’s more, The Signal must speculate on and critique the university’s decision to cause so much chaos without any official explanation. For a decision which causes such inconvenience to the student organizations involved, we would appreciate more information and accountability from the decision-makers. If there was limited space available, we want transparency.

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