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Editorial

Career Fair needs to have diversity, dress code

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October 15, 2009

UW-River Falls hosted the 18th annual Career Fair on Wednesday, showcasing 81 regional businesses in the ballroom.

The Student Voice Editorial Staff would like to commend Career Services for their exemplary job on coordinating, promoting and executing the Career Fair. The last several weeks have featured not only full color ads in this paper, but a campus-wide signage campaign, table tents, advertising on channel 10, classroom announcements, brochures, fliers, e-mails and repeated plugs on WRFW. The day of, campus was peppered with directional signs pointing to the UC highlighting the Career Fair, and every participant received a detailed booklet profiling every company present. This was the kind of marketing campaign all other events on campus need to emulate for the future.

But now for the bad news…

A quick glance over the 81 companies that did attend the career fair would reveal that the majority of them were agriculture-focused. The Student Voice realizes that UWRF has a heavy agriculture student population, but it also has a highly recognized education program and one of only three accredited journalism programs in the state, to just name a few. But these other majors were woefully underrepresented. There was less than half-a-dozen education opportunities (not counting colleges advertising their Masters programs), only one journalism opportunity, which was for unpaid internships for underclassmen and only one communications company not agri-focused.

In order for the Career Fair to be successful and inclusive, as this campus claims to be, the companies attending the fair should more accurately represent the distribution of majors across campus.

But perhaps the unbalanced nature of the fair, as well as the declining number of participating organizations, is not fully the fault of those organizing it. Several Editorial Board members who attended the fair noticed a large number of students dressed in casual or downright scummy clothing. There were people in jeans, sweatshirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts and sneakers. This type of clothing has absolutely no place at a professional fair geared towards networking and creating job opportunities.

Students need to take some responsibility, show some respect and realize that they are in college now. Sweatpants are not socially acceptable in every situation.

This kind of blatant disregard for one’s own image conveys a lazy and ignorant attitude, one that poorly reflects on this University. Potential employers who come to this Career Fair expect to meet with committed young adults that are willing to act their age and present themselves in a manner consistent with the education they are receiving. Students who dress like slobs will present a negative image of UWRF, and that image could turn companies off, causing them to choose not to return to our fair in the future.

The UWRF Career Fair was expertly coordinated. With more diversity and a stricter, enforced dress code, it could prove to be a tremendous resource for all students.