Kayla Byler / Lantern photographer
It’s not everyday that coal miners, women from the 1860s, ballerinas and representatives from the Santa Maria are in the Ohio Union together, but they were all on hand for Mortar Board’s Columbus on Campus.
The event, put on by the senior honorary Mortar Board, brought together 15 Columbus and Ohio State organizations to help students see what organizations exist beyond campus in Columbus.
Mortar Board is a nationally society that recognizes outstanding academic achievement in college seniors.
Many organizations came in full costume, and some in full character, as actors from the Ohio Historical Society roamed the Union questioning students on their peculiar dress and customs.
Some of the organizations represented included the Ohio Historical Center, BalletMet, The Santa Maria, COSI and Electronic Arts, among others.
The biggest difference between this event and others like Buck-i-Frenzy, is that Columbus on Campus is interactive, said Becky King, a fourth-year in strategic communication and the major events chair for Mortar Board.
“We’re working with organizations to get them to kind of interact and engage students instead of just passing pamphlets and brochures,” King said.
The Ohio Statehouse was in attendance with a large map of Ohio including counties that students played a version of the game “Twister” using questions about Ohio counties to win prizes.
“I think that they really enjoy our booth because we’re doing ‘Ohio Twister,’ we’re debuting our game, it’s a prototype, and we’re having a lot of fun,” said Gregg Dodd, the deputy director for communications at the Ohio Statehouse.
Katie Backus, a second-year in animal sciences, said she came after seeing the actors from the Ohio Historical Society and hearing there was free food, but played the “Ohio Twister” game and said it was fun.
While Backus is familiar with most organizations being from the area, she said “for people who aren’t from around here, it’s nice to see what everything is in Columbus.”
Cody Salyi, a first-year in biology, saw the event online and wanted to come to learn what the city had to offer.
“I don’t know much about Columbus, so this was cool to see what’s out there,” Salyi said.
Salyi said some organizations he looked at were the art museum and BalletMet, and he was able to talk to COSI about getting involved with internships.
“I thought it was pretty helpful because I went to (the COSI table and) I grabbed some stuff from them,” said Maryknoll Palisoc, a second-year in biochemistry.
Palisoc said she also found other things she would like to see in Columbus from the event, including the Ohio Statehouse.
Columbus on Campus took the place of Mortar Board’s annual pillow-fight event because it was not contributing enough money for the organization that hosted it, so the new event was designed to help new students learn about the city, King said.