Among the many rituals of the start of a new academic year is the annual University of Tennessee at Chattanooga new student Orientation and Organizations Fair to introduce incoming freshmen and transfer students to the wide variety of clubs and organizations available to them at UTC.
Anyone looking to get involved on campus can find something of interest with the hundreds of organizations accessible to students.
The following list is just a few of this year’s participating groups that attended the summer New Mocs Orientation organization fairs:
Members of Mock Trial at UTC spend each school year reviewing fictional court cases, assuming roles as parties to the cases and acting them out in competitions staged around the country. Participants sharpen and showcase their public speaking and acting skills.
UTC Mock Trial was founded in 2008 and teams have reached the National Championship four Times.
Lauren Igoni, a UTC junior from Memphis and Mock Trial team member, recalls the 2022-2023 team competing against Ivy League institutions Harvard University and Columbia University.
Igoni said that during her experience, she made many new friends and received course credit for participation.
“Come and audition,” she said. “It’s a really fun club to join and even if you don’t know public speaking or law, it’s always good to try new things.”
Mock Trial is open to “any current UTC undergraduate student with an interest in public speaking, debate, acting, law school or academic competition,” according to its website.
Students can join the team by completing a contact form for future auditions.
Spectrum is UTC’s Queer Collective, a student organization that participates in activism and community outreach on campus.
UTC senior Abigail Bean is Spectrum’s vice president and community liaison.
“We are a group that provides community for queer people, a place to come and friendship,” said Bean, a native of Chattanooga. “We do a ton of fun events and fundraising and sort of provide that safe space on campus.”
Bean said Spectrum social activities include clothing swaps, trips to Goodwill to “help people find their personal style” and art and education nights.
Spectrum also hosts a yearly Queer Prom, which welcomes any student to dress up and dance, especially those who may not have had the opportunity in high school to attend prom as they were or with whom they wanted to bring.
HOLA-Hispanic Outreach Leadership Association
The Hispanic Outreach Leadership Association (HOLA) is for students interested in uniting and educating people interested in or a part of Hispanic/ Latin American culture.
HOLA participates in community outreach and community service both on- and off-campus and hosts group activities such as game nights and scavenger hunts.
Stephanie Loa, a senior from Ringgold, Georgia, and president of HOLA, said their work is meant to “create a safe space for people who are like us, look like us or want to learn about people like us.”
She said they also help organize Hispanic Heritage Month events on campus, which UTC celebrates from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with weekly activities.
Baptist Collegiate Ministries
Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) is one of several campus ministries at UTC.
Located at 540 Vine St., BCM is open to any student who wants a place and community to worship.
Their weekly worship service, The Well, meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The group gathers on Wednesdays for $2 home-cooked lunches.
“Our building is open during the day for students to come in, have a place to rest, study, play games and build community,” said Abby Swainson, BCM program assistant and UTC graduate. “If there are students coming in who are new to Chattanooga and want to find a place to plug in with Christian community that are genuinely seeking Jesus, BCM is a great place to meet people and get plugged in.”
Information on BCM and how to get involved is located on their website.
UTC women’s ultimate frisbee team, Moxie Ultimate, is open to any female student regardless of experience level.
Asta Thurman, a UTC junior from Cookeville, Tennessee, and one of the Moxie Ultimate team captains, said the team competes in weekend tournaments during fall and spring semesters. They join at sectional competitions during the spring.
According to its web page, the club teaches competitive frisbee to “women of all skill levels— from those who don’t know a disc from a paper plate to those that have been playing for years.”
Thurman emphasized the close-knit nature of the team and that they often spend time together outside of practices and tournaments.
“We love going on Chamberlain. That’s something we do together,” Thurman said. “A lot of our team is very studious, so we go to the library together, so that’s a nice bonding thing.”
For more information about recruitment, practices and tournaments, visit Moxie Ultimate’s Instagram page.