By: Olivia Hans
November 3, 2023
“It’s coming back.” – Andrew Miller Thomas, UAB Coordinator
This fall, the University Activities Board is once again hosting events catered to all students. It has led undergraduate experiences on campus for many years, solidifying it as a multipurpose, authentic organization where students can increase their presence in the MSU community. While it is most helpful for undergraduate students to get involved, it is available for all students to use. And, as stated on their website, “membership is free and open all year long.” Members are seen all over campus working events and partnering with local businesses and MSU clubs. Their headquarters, however, are stationed at the Union, just a short walk away from Grand River and West Circle neighborhood.
Senior student coordinator, Andrew Miller Thomas, has been a UAB member since his freshman year, beginning as a music coordinator. “It’s a different way to go about a college job.” Since COVID-19, he’s remained a part of the organization.
You’ve probably heard of the popular MSU poster sale in the Union, right? It was brought on by UAB! And, as students have come back, UAB has kept working on more activities that will bring students together, such as Open Mic Nights, Fall Welcome Movie Nights, Game Day Photo Booths, Trivia Nights, Homecoming Brunch and more. What better way to get involved with the MSU student community than during a fun activity? There are about 50,000 students on MSU’s campus, and UAB is one of the best organizations to get involved in.
It’s no secret that enrollment has generally been up the last few years at Michigan State. Last year, we saw a surge of dorm abnormalities: rooms meant for two housed three and beds had to be stacked on top of each other. It was one of the biggest incoming classes to date.
During COVID, some events were limited in their stock, such as blanket making and tie-dying. Recently, however, UAB has begun doing even more events. But where do they stand now? How are they dealing with fewer restrictions and more undergraduate students?
In regard to the influx of new students, Thomas said, “We’re not quite at the peak … I think the biggest peak was right after COVID. That first week back to school — I think it was 2022— [there were] probably 250 people in here for Open Mic.” Open Mic, one of the principal events UAB hosts, is just another way of bringing people together — this time, through performance.
“The bigger classes definitely help, and we’ve been working a lot more with New Student Orientation and OSE to make sure that incoming freshmen hear about UAB, about the stuff we’re doing. Our beginning-of-the-year events are really well-attended.”
So, what are you waiting for? Check out UAB’s events throughout the fall — and fall into the groove of college life.
Olivia Hans is a senior majoring in English and Professional and Public Writing, aspiring to develop, create and organize ideas and concepts in specific settings. In her free time, she enjoys watching Gilmore Girls and photography. You can usually find her drinking coffee.