The Taste of the University of Alaska Anchorage tantalized students with free food, loud music and the opportunity to enrich their college experience at the new student orientation. On Aug. 25, approximately 300 people gathered in the Sports Center and Campus Center where 47 different booths featured the diversity of programs available to students this fall.
KRUA 88.1 FM, UAA's campus radio station, had one of the most popular booths. KRUA Production Manager Nathan Clementson helped distribute free cotton candy to passing students.
The ploy to get students' attention worked. Clementson says KRUA collected a stack of volunteer applications and drummed up awareness about the radio station by distributing newsletters. “The more people we get involved, the more people we have working and supporting radio,” said Clementson.
Union of Students President Mike Dingman was on hand at the USUAA booth talking to new students and taking in the sights.
“We've had a really good turnout in all the new orientation programs,” Dingman said. One of Dingman's goals is to improve the campus atmosphere. He says he believes new student orientation is essential for accomplishing that.
“This was definitely a success getting more people involved,” said Dingman.
Mike Yim was one of the new students having a good time at orientation, making new connections and learning what UAA has to offer.
“This is cool, lots of free stuff. I dig the food and activities.” Yim said. He says the experience also increased his awareness about UAA programs.
The Taste of UAA lived up to its name by providing students with an assortment of free edibles, including chicken, macaroni and potato salad, cookies and soda. Free gifts seemed to be one of the prevalent themes during the affair, with items being dished out by almost every booth. Students took advantage of the many highlights up for grabs as they chewed on chocolates and candy, walked with handfuls of stickers, slang yo-yos, tugged on balloons, twirled key chains, crunched on popcorn and some even got henna tattoos.
Sigma Sigma Sigma and Sigma Alpha Episilon were out recruiting new members and telling students about the Greek system at UAA. The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Campus Crusade for Christ were also present to tell students about their programs.
Breanne Guest, a new student at UAA, liked that there was something for everyone at orientation.
“I ended up signing up with a sorority and finding out about some groups that I am definitely going to get involved with.”