The Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) hosted O-Show at Goodwin Hall this year for the 8th year in a row! O-Show is a great event that allows STEM-related student organizations to showcase their opportunities to new students. This includes organizations like BOLT (design teams), SWE (engineering societies), and Engineers Forum Magazine (engineering related clubs).
The first time O-Show was hosted was back on August 14th, 2014. The event was created to give engineering students some time to get to know engineering organizations and upperclassmen in a more intimate setting. Gobbler Fest is usually the larger club fair that many of the same organizations would be a part of. However, it had been difficult and overwhelming for freshmen to be able to get into all of the engineering specific clubs that they were interested in. O-Show provided a place for them to be more comfortable and have the opportunity to network with other freshmen and engineering faculty.
O-Show is a great opportunity for freshmen since it gives them an exclusive opportunity to learn about clubs and what involvement in engineering at Virginia Tech can look like. The Hume center was also represented this year so this could help students jump start their experience by getting involved in research. “The Hume Center leads Virginia Tech’s research, education, and outreach programs focused on the challenges of cybersecurity, autonomy, and resilience for the national security community” (hume.vt.edu).
According to various freshmen from Hoge Hall, the engineering living learning community, “O-Show introduced us to a lot of new opportunities. We like that it was held before classes started so that we could wholeheartedly participate in activities and get to know each other better without the stress of having homework or classes to go to.” Hosting O-Show before classes was great timing for most students. It helped them network with each other so they may have some familiar faces in their new classes.
On top of helping the freshmen participants, O-Show also gave organizations a chance to recruit new members. Many clubs and teams lose long time members as seniors start to graduate so having O-Show is a great way to boost club engagement before some of the larger events like Gobbler Fest. Especially since Gobbler Fest isn’t until September. Design teams tend to have a lot stricter deadlines since they have competitions that they are looking to prepare for. This gives them a lot more incentive to start recruiting as soon as possible. While other clubs just want to expand their participation. Regardless, you won’t know what kind of club is best for you until you get involved! Many freshmen engineering students feel like they don’t belong but many organizations work to make everyone feel included. Clubs like NSBE, SWE, and SHPE focus on specific minorities. Although they are not limited to people who fit the minority, many students like that they have an opportunity to build a closer sense of community.
On that note, Engineers Forum Magazine is always recruiting new members so if you or a friend are interested in writing, graphic design, or photography, reach out to us via our gobblerconnect page and we would be happy to have you!