June 21, 2024

I Heart UT Week: “Be Proud. Be Involved. Be Invested”

Students gathered on pedestrian walkway this week to learn ways to stay involved at UT with the Student Alumni Associates.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville Office of Alumni Affairs continued I Heart UT week on April 25, 2019. The office hosted a booth on Pedestrian (PED) walkway.

From April 22 to April 26, I Heart UT week features a full week of events and programs to remind students why it is great to be a Tennessee Volunteer. Moreover, it helps students as stress goes up and morale goes down due to finals.

UT sophomore and Student Alumni Association member Lorissa Dollar said, “I feel like it’s really important for students during this really stressful week to remember how much they love UT.”

The “Be Proud. Be Involved. Be Invested” booth was a good turnout. The game was a drop-prize game. The organizers handed the students pucks, and the students dropped their puck into the top of the game board. The puck would fall into one of the slots labeled with several different prizes. The prizes consisted of I Heart UT items including a fanny pack, socks or card holder.

The only thing required of students to participate was a short questionnaire asking how they would like to get involved. Additionally, students would included their contact information along with a check mark in the box of their choice of several ways they could become involved.

Half-way through the event, the prize piles seemed to be dwindling down rather fast. Despite this, students crowded the table, filling out cards and lining up to participate in the game.

Varun Rangnekar is a UT freshman and SAA member. Rangnekar explained being in SAA has given him many opportunities. He has attended events like “Dinner with 100 Vols” to personally meet some of UT’s most prominent alumni.

“One of the main people was the lady who made Elf on a Shelf, she’s actually a big deal here at UT,” Rangnekar said. “And I didn’t even know she went to UT for school but I got to talk to her and that was pretty cool.”

Furthermore, alumni sponsor SAA events  throughout the year. This keeps the connection between students and alumni growing and fresh. The booth provided free items and engaged with students.

The Office of Alumni Affairs will be wrapping up the week with Volapalooza on April 26 at the Student Union Courtyard starting at 6 p.m.

“It is so fun, it’s really easy, we ask very minimum effort and you get really cool free stuff,” Dollar said. “And who in college doesn’t like free stuff?”


Edited by Grace Goodacre and Kaitlin Flippo

Featured image by Payton Thomas