Griffin Sendek | Multimedia Editor
The Student EXPO has been a staple of every new semester on Duquesne’s campus, however, like many other university events, this year’s expo went entirely virtual.
Booths lining A-walk instead were replaced with several dozen Zoom chat rooms where students could pop in, chat with representatives from each club and move on to the next room of their choosing.
The most miraculous aspect of the expo’s shift to a virtual format is how seamlessly it all worked from a technology standpoint. All of the club’s Zoom rooms were accessible through Campus Link, at 11 a.m. the student expo event page opened up with a long list of each organization taking part.
Students could scroll through the page reading the short descriptions of each group and if they found one they were interested in, they could click a small “join Zoom” button and be instantly directed to a call with members willing to answer any and all questions.
“Honestly, I thought the expo went better than expected,” Vincent Gullo, President of Delta Chi Fraternity, said. “My recruitment chair and I talked about how impressive it was for people to hop in on a Zoom call with people they didn’t even know and have a conversation.”
Where the expo couldn’t avoid issues is the social awkwardness associated with using zoom. Joining a call and being alone with only members of the organization can be slightly uncomfortable, but the moment conversations started flowing most all of the awkward feelings fell away.
“Although the number of participants was obviously down than in previous years, it really seemed that the people who came wanted to be a part of the organization because they took that social risk. They had to do a lot more than just pick up a flyer,” Gullo said.
However, not all organizations were created equal. The members of HerCampusDUQ, the newly added Duquesne branch of the digital women’s magazine, did not come away with the same level of positivity.
The social fraternities such as Delta Chi are already well-known throughout campus, whereas new and smaller clubs do not have that same luxury.
“Our expo turnout was disappointing,” Lauren DeMicoli, Public Relations & advertising major and co-president of HercampusDUQ said. “We had a total of three people.”
DeMicoli wishes the expo had been a week-long event that each organization had a set date and time.
“I think they could have easily adhered to CDC guidelines … It also would be very helpful to clubs such as mine who have yet to make a physical appearance and are, therefore, at a much larger disadvantage than clubs that have been around for even a year longer than we have,” DeMicoli said.