By: Emma Vatnsdal
The walkways of MSUM’s campus mall were alive with the sounds of students eagerly anticipating the opportunities with different clubs and student organizations.
DragonFest, a one-day celebration that is held each fall, is a day for student organizations to attract new members, for faculty to meet and interact with students they might not normally see, and for students to learn more about the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Photo by: Katie Adams
The Society of Physics Students displays a few physics toys.
Held a few weeks after classes begin, DragonFest is geared toward students that don’t have access to Sidewalk Café during welcome week. Students rarely have a negative thing to say about it.
“I love that they do this,” freshman Alexis Solo said. “It is a good way to experience campus.”
A major event like this is not just spur-of-the-moment. Becky Boyle Jones, the organizer of DragonFest, said planning for each DragonFest starts almost a full year in advance.
“Starting about a week after the event, I confirm the dates for next year’s DragonFest,” Jones said.
In the spring, after the dates are set, Jones sends out the first wave of contact for businesses around the community that might be interested in having a booth at the event.
“This usually includes businesses and various non-profits around Fargo-Moorhead that are hiring students or looking for volunteers,” Jones said.
Photo by: Katie Adams
Junior Katherine Berning poses with Salty, the Dragon Entertainment Group’s mascot, at DragonFest.
Businesses are not the only participants in this event. All student organizations, from Anime Club to women’s rugby, are invited to set up shop on the campus mall to get their name out to students who wouldn’t otherwise hear them.
Jayce Branden, the president of the Web Design and Development Club, sees the benefits of DragonFest.
“This is a great opportunity for groups to advertise, and it’s a really great way for students that are interested and want to get involved (to do so),” Branden said. “If they don’t know how to get involved, it is a great way to find out more information.”
Whether it is curiosity about what different clubs may offer, or the allure of free candy and goodies that come with information, DragonFest continues to attract students year after year.
“Research has shown that students who are involved on campus have higher retention and graduation rates,” Jones said. “That’s what we are here for. Everything we do is geared towards getting students involved on campus, and I think DragonFest does a good job of doing that.”