Bookstore to host new fair for seniors

Senior year is an eventful time for students, filled with preparation for entering the workforce, gathering final materials and gearing up for graduation.

Any student can find their calendars overflowing with dates for such tasks.

However, the start of a new event could possibly lighten some of the stress seniors face.

A graduation fair will be held Oct. 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with check-in starting at the university’s bookstore located next to the SUB.

Bookstore manager Debbie Cottrell explains the motive behind the event.

“Graduation is special, and we want to make picking up regalia and learning about senior products and services a fun and informative event.  The only thing our students need to do is attend and bring their copy of the application of degree form,” she said.

Graduates are welcome to bring whomever they choose to the event.

 “We encourage students to invite family and friends.  The bookstore is open extended hours so, hopefully, everyone can participate in the event,” she said.

As seniors arrive, they will receive an information card with an attached check list to complete for qualification into eligibility for door prizes.

“Seniors will take the card to the various tables and learn about products and services our vendors and campus offices provide.  Visiting with the representatives earns a stamp on the card.  As students are leaving the event, completed cards are deposited in the door prize drawing box,” Cottrell said.

Prizes include gift bags, bookstore gift certificates, $100 off the purchase of a class ring and a diploma frame as the grand prize.

The trend of holding a grad fair is catching on. Other schools are now practicing ways to reduce the stress levels for seniors.

UMHB bookstore sales clerk Robin Payne accidentally stumbled upon the grad fair concept.

“I was viewing other college web sites and noticed some information on grad fairs. I immediately got sidetracked into researching for what others are doing. I mentioned it to Debbie after looking into it further, and she explained her thoughts on the concept to me,” she said.

Results on the success of a grad fair will determine strengths and weaknesses that the bookstore team can focus on improving for many upcoming graduates.  

Nevertheless, store associates are ready and willing to lighten the seniors’ stress levels through determination and positive attitudes.

Payne said, “If there is anything that we can do to make this an easier process for them, and it works for us, we will try to find a way to do it.”

Senior marketing major Julian Alvarez shares his opinion on the grad fair.

“I think having a one – stop day event can really make it easy for a lot of students, but the only issue we may face is whether or not the time frame will work for all students. I personally hope that I can make it and knock it all out in one day. It would make the preparation for graduation a lot easier.”

Photographs will be taken of the affair and uploaded to the UMHB bookstore’s official Facebook page for students to tag.

Cottrell said, “Graduation fairs are popular events on many campuses, and we have great support from UMHB campus departments and our vendors. Our expectations include strong student participation and a fun day for everyone.  The bookstore staff hopes to make this an annual fall event.”

Author: Sarah Rank

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