Students connect at Sharing the Abundance Fall Festival

Morgana Carroll, Scene Editor

The front of McIntyre Hall was alive with the sound of 88.1 the ‘Burg bumpin’ beats, students and attendees chattering to each other and organization representatives greeting students. 

The Sharing the Abundance Fall Festival is an event that gave students the opportunity to talk to organizations that offer resources for students. The event took place on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. on McIntyre Hall Lawn East and continued until the start of the Wellington Wildfire. 

“The Sharing the Abundance Fall Festival was created this year to become a social event for students to get connected to the amazing different types of resources living on and off campus to support student wellness,” Wildcat Pantry Coordinator Jaeda Nelson said. “Whether it’s someone coming in as a first year or maybe they’re just coming back and it’s their fourth year, we want to make sure they have all the tools that they need.” 

According to Nelson, these resources are meant to help students who are financially struggling and include appropriate winter clothes and food.

President’s United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) Public Relations Officer Erica Georgia said, “I feel like as you’re attending a four-year university, funding for these kinds of resources is very limited. Students come here with meal plans, and then when they’re out of that first year they’re off those meal plans or living off-campus, and [students] don’t have a lot of money for basics and hygiene products. We believe that it’s a right for student’s to have access to healthy quality foods.”

First-year business student Gary McCauley said the event was a good opportunity for him to get out of his dorm for the night and see what campus has to offer.

“This is awesome,” McCauley said. “I’m having a great time so far and I just won an APOYO [Allied People Offering Year-round Outreach] t-shirt.” 

Organizations from on and off-campus set up tables with activities for attendees to interact with while they learned about what resources their organization offered. 

“I like all the things that this event has introduced us to, things we didn’t really know about, because I’m not sure if I would have been interested in anything like this before coming here and talking to people and getting more information,” Alyssa Ratcliffe, a junior in anthropology, said.

One of the organizations in attendance was the new Financial Wellness Center located in Bouillon Hall room 102. According to Financial Specialist James Paton, the Financial Wellness Center is an organization that helps students have a better relationship with money through financial literacy.

Brevin Ross

“We’re here to support the PUSH food bank and just let students know that this is one of the services that Central has to offer,” Paton said.

Andrea Guillian said that she thinks events like these are important because it lets students know that there are people running these groups, and that they aren’t just faceless college organizations. 

“Students hear a lot about the pantry or health and wellness, but they don’t really know the people who are running it and what it really looks like,” Guillian said.

Nelson said that she was hoped to see at least 100 students look into the resources as a result of the event.