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Festival ISU transitions to virtual format

Students with facial coverings distance in the Bone Student Center

Students can learn more about Illinois State's Registered Student Organizations by attending Festival ISU virtually this year.

Illinois State’s annual Festival ISU will be held virtually from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, and Sunday, September 13, through Thursday, September 17.

Virtual Festival ISU offers students living on and off campus the opportunity to connect with Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). Each registered RSO will offer virtual meetings or contact information forms. Individual RSOs will then contact students who expressed interest during the festival. 

“Much like the in-person Festival ISU, participating students can choose to interact with as many organizations as they like and can do so even if they are not living in the residence halls or campus community,” Associate Dean Michelle Whited said.

According to Whited, the Dean of Students Office has heard rumors that Illinois State students believe RSOs are not recruiting or holding events this semester. 

“This is simply not true,” Whited said. “Involvement is still available, and we need RSOs in order to create an energetic and viable campus life.” 

Holding this year’s festival virtually also allows students to browse involvement options without the crowds typically flowing through the in-person Festival ISU. 

“An online format will allow the student attendees and RSO leaders to really have a chance to discuss their interests and plans for the upcoming year. A virtual format will make information sharing much easier to manage for the attendee and RSO host,” Registered Student Organizations Coordinator Amy Miller said.

Whited agrees and said she thinks it will be easier for organizations to contact potential new members after the festival because of electronic attendance tracking. 

“We recognize that students want to find other students who have similar interests. The virtual Festival ISU offers all students the ability to connect with others regardless of where they reside,” Whited said.

This year, Festival ISU will feature a different category of RSOs each day. Categories include Social Sororities and Fraternities, Leadership/Political/Professional, Performance/Media, Faith/Cultural, Advocacy/Service/Honor Society, and Club Sports/Gaming/Recreation.

An updated schedule and list of participating RSOs can be found on the Dean of Students Office website.