As students commenced the start of a new academic year, First Year Advising and Exploration assisted students with acclimating to UCF by hosting their annual Welcome Expo. Designed to highlight various campus organizations, departments and community partners, the expo represents an opportunity for all students to learn about the resources available to them. With 26 vendors serving as community partners including Winn Dixie, Wells Fargo, Flippers Pizza and others, FYAE was able to provide free giveaways and products to the numerous consumers in attendance.

The event continues to increase in size yearly and the response of the UCF community fuels FYAE’s drive to produce affairs that remain focused on familiarizing students with UCF’s culture and traditions. Ranked as the second largest institution of higher education in America, the magnitude of this campus can often be perceived as daunting to a newcomer. The goal of the Welcome Expo is to counter this perception by offering a great collection of agencies in one facility while allowing students and employees alike to speak with individuals at each table on a one-on-one level.

This year’s attendance and participation marked one of the highest years yet with 4,585 individuals and the contribution of 101 student organizations and 33 academic departments. The response for Welcome Expo was tremendous with the office nearly doubling the number of those who attended from last year.

FYAE also maintained the focus of their office by offering Walk-in Hours at the expo allowing students the opportunity to enjoy themselves socially while also concentrating on their academic needs.

Sophomore Brian Gil stated that he would encourage students to attend by, “letting them know about free giveaways…People underestimate the event and think it’s just like Orientation but they don’t realize all of the vendors and free giveaways available. I would definitely go again next year.”