Student groups present at convocation

Convocation does offer opportunities for student groups to showcase themselves.

In response to the Daily editorial on Sept. 7 titled, “Student groups left out of Convocation,” we wanted to clarify a few points.

Convocation does offer opportunities for student groups to showcase themselves. Several student groups were featured in the Convocation Pride and Spirit program providing entertainment.

The primary intent in restricting flier distribution at Convocation was to safely move thousands of people from Northrop to Coffman during the festivities. The editorial also alluded to policies regarding “time, place and manner restrictions on flier distribution.” These policies are not implemented to restrict free speech, but rather ensure that events can be run safely. That being said, the message sent to student groups informing them of this policy was worded too broadly and the policy could have been misinterpreted. To improve the success of this event in the future, we will review guidelines and opportunities for student group involvement with Convocation’s event planners prior to next year.

The editorial also stated, that “the University needs to ensure that new students have every chance possible to discover the marketplace of ideas the Student Unions and Activities groups have to offer.” We completely agree. Student Unions & Activities offer several University-sponsored events for student groups to promote themselves.

Specific upcoming events that feature hundreds of student groups include the Activities Fair Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Paul Student Center’s Terrace and Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Coffman’s Front Plaza and Paint the Bridge Sept. 12 and 13. Discussions are currently underway on how to best showcase student groups in Welcome Week activities next summer.

Student Unions & Activities prides itself in providing a variety of services for student groups to help them reach their goals, including generating more awareness for themselves. We invite student groups to visit our office or contact us to learn about more opportunities to promote themselves throughout the school year. To learn more about student group services, please call us at 612-626-6919, or visit our office in Coffman Room 126 or check out http://www.sua.umn.edu/groups.

Maggie Towle is the Student Unions & Activities director. Please send comments to [email protected]