If you’re new to campus, or even if you have a year or so under your belt, Festifall and Northfest are exciting events to look forward to. Never is the Diag so busy as during this event, where a majority of all 500+ organizations of the University of Michigan have information and recruiting tables lining the sidewalks. Poster boards display achievements, photographs of participants and projects, and informational flyers to catch your eye. All of these table attendants hope that something about their display will pique your interest and have you consider joining their campus group - or at least attend the information session.
You may have seen organization paraphernalia around campus and already have a few clubs, sports, or organizations that you hope to join. Or perhaps you have an idea of what you want from an organization, but are unaware of which campus group can offer it to you. Whether you are expanding on your high school activities, or utilizing the college experience to try something new - it is likely that you will find a handful of enticing options at Festifall and Northfest.
Bring a small folder: If you have a spare folder lying around, it is wise to bring it along with you when you peruse the Diag. Organization representatives will be handing out many small and large flyers advertising upcoming events or further information about joining, and it can be difficult to keep track of all of the literature you pick up on your trek.
Give yourself time: If you have been highly involved in the past, and you know that it is likely that multiple things will attract your attention, it is going to be a lengthy process! Even if your interests are few, it is likely that even stopping to talk to a representative at one or two tables could take a significant amount of time - especially if you have a lot of questions. It is not a reasonable expectation to plan on seeing all of Festifall or Northfest between back-to-back classes, or between classes with smaller time gaps.
Do not bring your bicycle: It is nearly impossible to walk it through the crowds. You will likely have to park it at a building, or take an alternative route around the Diag if you are merely passing through.
Be wary of email lists: If you are not interested in it, do not put your name on the mailing list. If you think you may be interested, attend the information session and then decide whether or not you want to commit to receiving organization e-mails. Most upperclassmen will tell you that being overzealous at Festifall or Northfest resulted in months of frustrated, daily inbox cleaning.
Learn about at least one org: Do walk away with information about at least one club or organization: participation on campus boosts moral, increases personal feelings of inclusiveness, and motivates you to do better in classes!
Festifall: Tuesday, September 10th. Central Campus Diag, 11am-4pm.
Northfest: Thursday, September 12. North Campus Diag, 1pm-5pm.
We hope to see you there,