The University of Arizona prides itself on being a leader in the arts and student engagement, and as a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, is home to many awards and programs that are globally recognized for their diversity and inclusion.
From theater and dance shows to club events and campus activities, UA faculty, staff and students encourage new Wildcats to get involved and partake in these initiatives.
“When a student graduates, that degree will be just one key line on the resume,” said Abra McAndrew, the assistant vice provost of student engagement. “The rest will come from student employment, student activities and organizations, research experiences, internships and other personal choices to get involved that make each student’s experience uniquely valuable.”
The Daily Wildcat is here to help new Wildcats learn about everything that is available to them during their first year on campus, and ways they can enrich their student life experience.
Throughout the fall and spring semesters, the UA holds a handful of campus fairs for students to get information about programs or future events, and involvement opportunities at the university. Included are the Club Fair, the Study Abroad Fair and the Career Fair.
With over 600 clubs on campus, the Club Fair gives students the chance to get involved with other students who share similar interests. Held on the UA mall, this event acts as an opportunity for students to find activities they are passionate about, get information and get involved through student organizations, according to the UA Club Resource Center.
The Study Abroad Fair, located in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom, gives students a look at all the study abroad options available at UA. From a summer in Italy to a semester in Southern Asia, this fair provides information on different trips, financial aid and class opportunities around the world, according to UA Global Initiatives.
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UA Career Fairs provide students with employment opportunities, both on and off campus, which helps them build hands-on experience for their resume and earn some extra cash, according to the office of Student Engagement and Career Development website. This fall, students can attend the Wildcat Student Employment Fair on Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom. This is for students who are looking for work that is flexible and fits in with their school schedule.
Students and alumni will also have the opportunity to participate in Fall Career Days from Sept. 10-12. Over three days, attendees will have a chance to meet over 150 employers with full-time job opportunities and internships.
Another set of events the UA offers students, as well as the community, are its annual festivals, ranging from music to literature and science. These events aim to engage the larger community with participation, education and outreach.
One of these campus festivals is the Chess and Science Festival, hosted by the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. Held in the fall, this event brings a variety of science-themed activities to campus and involves participation from several UA science clubs, according to their website. This festival specifically showcases that women and girls can excel in fields that have historically been male-dominated.
Another annual festival is the Tucson Village Farm Harvest Festival, located off-campus at Tucson Village Farm at 4210 N. Campbell Ave. This is a “family-friendly event that features a variety of activities for people of all ages, gourmet food samples, a farm stand, live music, a petting zoo, hayrides, popcorn activities, food trucks and more,’” according to the Pima County Cooperative Extension events page. This festival is in November and hosted by the Pima County Cooperative Extension.
The Tucson Festival of Books, one of the biggest book festivals in the nation, is held on campus every spring and features authors, book signings, talks, music, Science City and other literary engagement opportunities. This renowned book festival is one of the largest book festivals in the country and attracts visitors from around the nation, according to the TFOB website.
UA Spring Fling, the largest student-run carnival in the nation, is one of the university’s most popular events and is held every April on the UA Mall, according to the Spring Fling website. Spring Fling includes carnival rides, food booths, games and live entertainment for students and community members alike.
UA holds several events aimed at providing opportunities for families to get involved with their students on campus. Whether it be through events during Family Weekend, Family Days at the UA Poetry Center or the festivals held on- and off-campus, there are several chances for parents to get to know the campus as well.
Family Day at the UA Poetry Center is held several times throughout the fall and spring semester and is a day of workshops, music, activities and refreshments for kids ages 13 or younger and their parents and guardians. It’s free and open to the public and a way to engage with your child through reading, writing, play and dance, according to the Poetry Center.
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UA Family Weekend, which will be held Oct. 5-6 this year, is a weekend of events meant for visiting parents and family members to learn more about the UA campus and community, as well as take part in fun-filled activities hosted by clubs and organizations.
UA also has several theater shows, both at Centennial Hall and the Arizona Repertory Theater, and other dance and musical performances that students and their families can enjoy throughout the semester.
As a leader in the arts, UA has several renowned music, dance, film, theater and art programs that put on events each semester through clubs or organizations. Open to the community and showcasing student, staff, faculty and community talents, these events provide opportunities for departments to display their work and get others involved.
UA Dance holds several showcases that display the talents of the students in the program throughout the semester. The UA is also home to several orchestras, concert bands and student theater groups, which all host regular performances.
A major event in the fall is UA Band Day, a full-day marching band exhibition held on campus that invites 30 to 40 high school bands to perform their half-time show for rankings and awards. The Pride of Arizona also appears in two exhibition performances, and Band Day provides high school students the opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise as a performing group, according to the Fred Fox School of Music.
The Loft Cinema partners with UA programs to showcase films followed by questions and answer sessions. One ongoing series at the cinema is Journalism on Screen, which shows a journalism related film followed by talk about the content from professionals.
With over 40,000 Wildcats on and off campus, there are many other ways to get involved in some way or another. Opportunities arise consistently throughout the semester, all aiming to further enrich each student’s college experience, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Career Development.
From Meditation Mondays to Dogs with the Dean and other discussions, lectures and presentations, the UA strives to stay a hub for student engagement, inclusion, diversity and involvement.
There are many ways to get involved in club activities like the live fighter training with the College of St. Felix, a medieval practice club on campus, through organizations like Arizona Student Media, which includes The Daily Wildcat, Kamp Student Radio and UATV, or through social hangouts and classroom activities.
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A list of all upcoming campus events can be found at uanews.arizona.edu, and can also be found on campus posters and club websites.
“I encourage students to challenge themselves each semester to try at least one new challenge or expanded role at work or within their other student activities,” McAndrew said.
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