Major fair mandatory for freshmen

By Anthony D. Ávila
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

For the first time, the University College is requiring undeclared freshmen to attend today's Meet Your Major Fair to prevent them from switching back and forth between different majors later on.

Students taking Success Starts Here, a 100-level online course that is mandatory for the 1,200 undeclared freshmen, are now required to attend the symposium and will be marked down if they don't show up, said Diana Wilson, major exploration coordinator of University College.

A goal of the class and the college is for freshmen to slow down and examine their strengths and values before committing to a field of study.

By attending the event, Wilson said, many students may stumble upon a major they never would have imagined themselves in.

"I tell students, 'There aren't wrong choices, just uninformed ones,'" Wilson said. "But if they go through a more meaningful decision-making process, they can get to know themselves better before they make a choice."

Though the fair is directed at freshmen, it's open to all students, Wilson said, adding that it's beneficial for declared students to go if they are having trouble pinning down a minor or just want to come to visit with their advisers.

Brooke Lindert, an undeclared freshman, said she has no idea what she's going to study, but the major fair could push her in the right direction.

"I think it will be interesting to look at all the possibilities of majors," Lindert said.

Jacqueline Ristau, an undeclared freshman, said she doesn't see the point of the mandatory class because it doesn't seem relevant to helping her decide what she wants to do.

"I don't think it's helpful at all," Ristau said. "It's a bunch of random questions about stuff."

Although she said she does not think the class benefits her decision making, she thinks the major fair could help inform her of the options she can pursue, Ristau said.

"It's too soon to tell, but I hope to have a better idea of what I'd like to do," Ristau said.

Leticia Soto-Delgadillo, associate director of University College, said the fair is a convenient way to get all of the departments and students in one place, which is also helpful when exploring major options. More than 80 departments have advisers who will be at the fair to talk about the more than 150 majors that students can choose from to earn a bachelor's degree.

The fair will be in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.