UNCW Involvement Carnival Connects Students to Community

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marissa Ruehle ’15 first experienced the UNCW Involvement Carnival as a student, but on Wednesday she was among the business owners sharing information about services.

More than 350 campus and community organizations participated in the annual UNCW Involvement Carnival on Aug. 24. The popular event, part of UNCWelcome 2016, showcases opportunities and resources available to students on and off campus. Student organizations, UNCW departments, religious organizations, community service agencies and local businesses participate each year.

“This is a great way to see so many students at once, and for students to learn about their options,” said Ruehle, the owner of Sunday Café in Wrightsville Beach. “It also shows which businesses support the university.”

Freshman Hailey Dunlow walked down a sidewalk lined with tables about clubs and volunteer opportunities.

“I think the involvement carnival is great; especially as a freshman,” she said. “This helps you get involved. You can go up to a table and get information and sign up for different things.”

The event has been beneficial for local businesses, said Donnie Canady, owner of Tanglez Hair Salon. The salon has retained about 29 percent of the students who learned about the business at last year’s event, he added.

“It’s been a great thing for us and it’s been great meeting a lot of the students,” he said. “They are a part of our Tanglez family.”

Senior Avianne Harris attended the event as a recruiter for the Seabells, an all-female acapella group.

“This event brings people together,” she said. “It allows us to tell people what we do and they can put a face to the name. I think it’s better to connect with people face-to-face.”

Junior Stiam Sandbekkhaug loved the idea of having businesses come to the students.

“It’s even more convenient for someone like me who doesn’t have a car,” he said. “It’s almost like a taste of Wilmington.”

--Venita Jenkins