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Major Addition

A student sitting with books.

Student-run event inspires others to maximize their time at ONU with additional majors and/or minors

Ohio Northern University’s motto – Ex diversitate vires, or “out of diversity, strength” – is emblematic of everything the University offers its students. That’s why we have more than 250 student organizations, musical ensembles open to all majors, and ample opportunities to experience and learn about different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.

By the same token, Ohio Northern’s diversity is just as visible in the majors our students declare. In the Getty College of Arts & Sciences, several academic programs are meant to accommodate extra majors and/or minors because, as the motto implies, the more diverse your skills are, the brighter your future can be.

Junior political science major Cassie Krencisz is the perfect example. Her dream is to work on political campaigns, but from the beginning, she knew she would need a broader knowledge base to make that dream a reality.

I wanted to be more competitive with what I want to do because getting into campaigns is going to be hard,” she says. “Getting into public administration programs or a public policy program, I wanted to make myself the best possible candidate for someone to want, and I didn’t want to be just political science. I wanted to have that extra thing to maybe fall back on, but also something that would fit really well together with political science and help better my skill set.

And that’s how the seed was planted. During her freshman year, Krencisz pondered adding a professional writing minor, but she needed more information and an extra push to follow through with it.

Last year during fall semester 2017, the College of Arts & Sciences Student Advisory Board (SAB) launched its first Arts & Sciences Fall Fair. A completely student-generated and student-run event, Fall Fair was designed to showcase all 50-plus majors, minors and concentrations offered in the College of Arts & Sciences to students looking to add majors and/or minors. There were stations for every one of the college’s 17 departments where attendees could talk with current students of that program, review sell sheets detailing each specific major or minor, and obtain the necessary paperwork to officially add a new major or minor.

Krencisz ended up attending Fall Fair, and since then, she’s never looked back. Immediately after the event, she obtained the necessary paperwork and signatures to add not one, but two minors – professional writing and communication studies. She was connected with academic advisors right away who easily guided her through the process, told her the extra classes she would need and if she could still finish on time. She was pleasantly surprised by how streamlined everything was.

Now, that initial seed has grown into something even bigger. After taking some classes for her minors, she discovered a whole new passion, and as of fall 2018, she’s now a double major in political science and communication studies.

If it hadn’t been for Fall Fair, Krencisz’s experience at ONU would be very different today. She would’ve missed out on something she never knew she loved, and she wouldn’t have been alone. The truth is, there are many students out there just like her – having an idea or inkling of something else they’d like to study at Northern but needing that extra push.

Fall Fair co-founder and senior political science major Seth Ferguson was one of those students, and it was precisely for that reason that he dreamed up the event.

Seth FergusonI had this idea when I was a freshman that I really wanted to do something to bring the entire college into one room because we have 17 departments, and that’s a lot,” he says. “I really wish that something like this happened my freshman year because I would’ve picked up my minors earlier and I would’ve branched out much quicker. The hope was to get people to leave the fair, extend out into other departments, and learn about other majors or minors out there.

The SAB had the same hope this year as it hosted the second annual Getty Fall Fair on Oct. 17, 2018. All students were encouraged to attend, even those from outside the College of Arts & Sciences.

As for Krencisz, she was on the flip side of the coin at Fall Fair this year, working at the political science station as a representative of the program. She was excited to share her experience with others and, better yet, perhaps inspire someone else to “just go for it” and maybe even discover something they never knew about before – something that just might change their experience at Ohio Northern for the better.