Record crowd attends Rock ‘N Roar
The Rock ‘N Roar Fest is an opportunity for visiting high school students at the Literary Rally to participate in food, activities and games.
The festival was held in the Student Union on Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Alumni Association has hosted this event 15 times, and this year it’s attendance grew.
“We are actually experiencing a very large increase in the number of schools and the number of students,” said Interim Director of the Alumni Association Julie Perise. “We actually brought in some of the New Orleans schools. In the past, New Orleans has done their own rally in their area, but they did not host their rally this year. And so, 21 of those schools that were originally in New Orleans have decided to partner with us on our rally.”
Inside the Student Union were tables and demonstrations for the different departments within the university.
“It is a lot of fun, our faculty get involved as well,” said Perise. “They do displays. They have these great interactive displays where students can find out the great things that are going on in the classroom here at Southeastern as well. They are located inside the Student Union, our student orgs. are on the outside of the Student Union selling their food or their sweets or whatever they’re selling.”
From psychology to business to biology, high school students had a chance to interact with the various colleges available at the university. The biology department had a representative reaching out to visitors with demonstrations.
“It’s a good outreach program,” said Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. John O’Reilly. “I try to entertain people and get them thinking about science, specifically biology but other stuff as well.”
Rock ‘N Roar had various foods for sale and other entertainment for the students.
“We have a DJ out there, we have some inflatables, our student organizations are able to participate,” said Perise. “They’re able to not only fundraise for their organization, but they’re also out there meeting these high schoolers that may be Southeastern students one day. And, they actually can recruit for their organizations as well. It’s not just about the classroom. It’s about all the extra opportunities they have here as a student.”
Student organizations were able to raise money and showcase their organizations to the students.
“We’re selling doughnuts for our sorority,” said Bailey Watts, a junior business major. “We’re just here to make sure all the kids are having a great day testing and are well nourished.”
Different sections of the university work together to present the event.
“Admissions is working really hard,” said Perise. “They do the rally part of it. They take care of all the testing, they schedule the rooms, they coordinate all of that. We do the fun part. We do the Rock ‘N Roar, the festival atmosphere.”
The university is able to advertise its programs to these students.
“We want the students who come in,” said Perise. “We realize they are probably the highest achieving students at these schools, and we want to make sure that they consider Southeastern. That is why we want to put our best show on for them. We want them to see everything great about Southeastern.”
The Literary Rally and the Rock ‘N Roar Fest are community events with various children’s camps and university organizations coming together to showcase their respective aspects.
“So, it really is a very large campus effort, we all kind of team up, and we have a great time doing it,” said Perise. “We have a great time showing all of the great things that are available at Southeastern to these students.”
For the university, the rally and the festival are a way to expand the universities outreach to students that may not have visited otherwise.
“We want to give them a reason to come back,” said Perise. “We want them to consider enrolling at Southeastern, and so, we enjoy doing this every year.”
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