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Instant CLASSic, lifetime connections

Undergraduate students create College-wide open house to promote CLASS pride

Instant CLASSic oganizers

CLASS seniors Mike Nguyen and Ryan Johnson wanted to take their cougar pride to the next level.

The two who met during a College-sponsored event decided they need to help others connect with each other and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences as they had.

So they planned Instant CLASSic, a college-wide open house to introduce students to what CLASS offers beyond a full-course load.

“We wanted to showcase the college’s departments, organizations, and students to the rest of the university,” said Johnson, a creative writing major. “And create a place where students could meet fellow CLASS students in different majors.”

Now in its second year, the Instant CLASSic is scheduled for October 27. Unlike other events individually managed by departments, the Instant CLASSic is an opportunity for every organization associated with the College to introduce themselves and what they offer to the entire campus.

To put on the event, Johnson and Nguyen sought out the support of two of the College’s top administrators, Dean John W. Roberts and Dr. Sarah Fishman, associate dean for undergraduate studies.

“We are an asset to the university and we felt too quiet and unorganized on campus, we wanted to do something about it,” Johnson said of the College and its undergraduate majors.

After being awarded a small budget from the Dean’s office, Nguyen and Johnson heavily recruited other students to assist them in organizing and participating in the open house. Last year’s first Instant CLASSic featured 29 faculty-led programs and student-led organizations, including the Student Government Association.

One aim of the open house is break barriers separating CLASS’ many majors in the disciplines of creative arts, humanities and social sciences. Another is to generate student pride in learning in, affiliating with and, eventually, graduating from the College.

“History students hang out with history students, psychology students hang out with other psychology students,” said history major Nguyen. “What most students do not realize is that at one point or another, they have been a part of CLASS.”

Last year’s event was a prototype to see how things officially work on campus. For the second year, they hope the Instant CLASSic son will bring even more attendees and participants that will make the event a legacy for current and future CLASS students.

“The best way to bring 12000 students together is to show them how much we all have in common,” said Johnson. “Let’s dedicate a day and put all these schools and departments together to showcase that we are nationally-recognized award winners and to recruit more students to help us achieve even more that what we have already done.”

- Luis Zelaya