Liberal arts fair planned to aid the undecided

Ken Eisinger

Under pressure from friends and her mother, freshman Naarah Nelson insists she will decide on a major by next fall.
If all goes well, she could have one by Wednesday.
Armed with buttered popcorn and door prizes, College of Liberal Arts student board members will try wooing undecided majors to CLA’s first-ever major fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in Coffman Union.
The event caters to students like Nelson who are struggling at choosing a major or minor.
“This is a chance for them to come to a one-day event where everything is there,” said Renee Richie, president of the student board. “We just want students to think about (their majors) so they’re not seniors and still struggling over what to do.”
Advisers representing 45 majors will set up shop in the Great Hall to field students’ questions about characteristics of majors and minors. Some of the 55 booths will showcase information about semester conversion and interdisciplinary majors.
Fair attendees can take home prizes by guessing the majors of celebrities. The game is intended to show the versatility of liberal arts majors.
Learning resources like the Office for Special Learning Opportunities and the college’s mentorship and honors programs will also be present.
College student board member Kyle Kilbourn said he sees “quite a few” students fretting over deciding their major.
“CLA is really big and for someone to set their sights on one major is kind of hard,” he said.
Some students take unnecessary classes and end up taking longer to graduate, Kilbourn added.
Fair organizers said this event differs from other career expos. It will focus less on securing a job after graduation and more on taking advantage of opportunities that will ensure speedy, efficient degree completion.
Students should talk with someone at the University who is familiar with the major before they settle on one, Kilbourn said.
Students can learn more about their prospective degree choices from CLA student program staff. Throughout the day, panels of staff members will discuss the versatility of a liberal arts education in breakout sessions.
Fair organizer Susan Hunter-Weir said students from any college could benefit from the fair. Hunter-Weir, a CLA adviser, noted that students enrolled in other colleges may skip liberal arts requirements and take classes only in the major or minor they pursue.
Students in CLA must satisfy education requirements outside of their major in addition to those in their specialty area.
“This might be the something extra that makes you stand out during the hiring process,” she said.