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‘Back to the basics’; Mega Fair will return to in-person this year

On Sunday at 11 a.m., up to 400 tables will be lining the sidewalks from Upham Hall to King Library, filling the spaces through Academic Quad, around the Seal and down Irvin Drive as student leaders set up camp for the fall Mega Fair.

JS Bragg, assistant director of student activities, said while planning the first Mega Fair since 2019, the main goals of putting on the event were accessibility and safety.

“We think that it's going to be a good, safe opportunity for people to find those places to get involved with,” Bragg said. “It's really one of, if not, the most important event of the year, because this is the first and the biggest chance for people to really find their place on campus.”

Bragg said the tables will be six feet apart and only on one side of the sidewalk to reduce congestion.

Bragg also said organizations were given the option to meet with students virtually during Megafair, and a few  organizations did take that option to supplement their booths at Mega Fair.

For students that don’t feel comfortable attending Mega Fair, Bragg said there are two other routes that can be taken: SEAL Ambassadors and The Hub.

SEAL Ambassadors are peer mentors available both online and in person to help students get involved with something that suits their interests through involvement meetings.

The Hub is available 24/7 for students to look up different student organizations and connect with organization members.

Riley Jones, a first-year zoology major, said she hopes to get involved with Paws for a Cause and an intramural sport.

“I’m pretty excited for the Mega Fair,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to [seeing]all the different clubs.”

Depending on how crowded Mega Fair is, Jones said she may wear a mask at the event.

Emma DeShay, a first-year psychology major, said she probably will wear a mask at Mega Fair despite being vaccinated.

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“If it is crowded at Mega Fair, like it looks from the pictures I've seen, I probably will wear a mask for that,” DeShay said. “It just depends on how many people are in proximity with you, like if there's enough [space] to space out, then I probably won't wear [one] outside, but probably at Mega Fair I will be wearing a mask.”

DeShay said she is looking forward to joining diversity organizations and finding out what other options are available at Mega Fair.

“I've heard a lot of good things about [Mega Fair] in-person and [that] it's just a fun experience to go to,” DeShay said.  “A lot of the virtual learning workshops that we did over the summer, a lot of people were talking about Mega Fair, so I'm really excited for that.”

Bragg said a new portion of Mega Fair this year is tabling for organizations that are new, not on The Hub Yet and are looking to grow. 

“Organizations who reach out and want to get started, but [are] outside the time that we would let an organization start, will be at Mega Fair,” Bragg said. “People can be like, ‘Yeah I’m a founder of an organization’ by joining this organization, so that’s something else cool that ties in.”

Bragg said this year is different from other years for Mega Fair because the Miami community is trying to go back to normal.

“That first semester, fall of last year, the theme for everyone was really, survive. Last semester was recovery; let’s start the recovery process.” Bragg said. “This year, it’s really back to the basics.”

Bragg said Mega Fair is important for more than just first-years this year, as sophomores and juniors are also adapting to campus life.

“People have just spent 20 months in the house, so this is their first chance to really find those people that are going to shape who they are and find those friends that are going to be those lifelong friends,” Bragg said.

Students can find more information about Mega Fair here