On Wednesday evening, freshmen gathered in the lawn of East Halls for FreshFest, an event for students to socialize, enjoy entertainment and learn more about UPUA.
The University Park Undergraduate Association spent $1,600 on the event, which went toward the food and entertainment that was provided.
“Last year it rained, so we were inside, but this year we had great weather,” UPUA Chair of Student Life Justin Laskowski said. “We doubled all of our quantities for food and giveaways.”
To keep students engaged in the event, UPUA added several forms of entertainment to hold the students’ interest.
“We incorporated a few games so students will stay longer because last year we felt like they would come through, get a free slice of pizza and then leave,” Laskowski (junior-philosophy) said. “So this year, a lot of people stayed longer.”
Students participated in water pong, ate pizza, collected UPUA merchandise, watched local bands, The Had Knots and The Wondershop Showdown, and browsed various information tables.
“The students seemed interested in the stations we had set up about academics, UPUA applications for our internship program and the raffle for a $100 gift card from the computer store,” Chairman of the Assembly Spencer Malloy said.
UPUA had their own information stand where they handed out applications to students for to get involved.
"This event is mostly used to gather freshmen attention about student government and it’s something that we have done for the past few years," Chair of Internal Development Dray Krishnan (sophomore-economics and accounting) said. "We gave out an abundance of applications, so we are really excited about that."
The applications were for two freshmen representative spots that will have voting rights on the assembly, as well as applications for an unlimited amount of students to serve on their internship program.
“By doing the internship program, it prepares the students who participate to get elected in fall,” Laskowski said. “They get all hands-on experience with student government, they just don’t get the voting rights.”
Along with information about UPUA, students were able to communicate with representatives from the various colleges.
The College Democrats and the College Republicans provided a stand for voter registration for the students and the advocacy group Textbooks Suck had an information stand where students could express the expense of their textbooks.
“The Textbooks Suck is an advocacy group to make sure that students get fair prices for their textbooks,” Malloy (senior-philosophy and agroecology) said. “They are pushing for professors to put out their own materials for cheaper instead of paying for expensive textbooks.”
Besides gaining information, some students said the event was a way to socialize and meet other freshmen.
"Events like this helps students socialize and get to know when organizations come out with different groups to join and it helps me get involved," Jessie Karr (freshman-food science) said.