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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Activities & Organizations

Cat’s Back attracts UH’s newest students as year ramps up


Fall 2022 Cat’s Back offered a chance for student organizations to showcase themselves to UH’s newest students. | Aly Ashry/The Cougar

Fall 2022 Cat’s Back offered a chance for student organizations to showcase themselves to UH’s newest students. | Aly Ashry/The Cougar

The cats are indeed back.

Cat’s Back is a Weeks of Welcome event where students have the chance to explore various student organizations on campus. The event has been held every fall and spring for 17 years, albeit with some interruptions in the past few years due to the pandemic. 

Many students, including biomedical engineering sophomore Tyee Burgos, said they enjoyed the event, but their experience was impacted by waiting so long to enter.

“The line was a killer,” Burgos said. “I stayed in line for 45 minutes.”

Other students echoed Burgos’ frustrations with the long lines, suggesting advice on how to improve traffic flow for next semester.

“Maybe add more lines for the tickets,” said nutrition freshman Valerie Hoang.

Despite frustrations, students noted that they were eventually able to connect with organizations that interested them. Burgos expressed interest in the Black Student Union (BSU), while Alpha Kappa Delta Phi and the Filipino Student Association stood out the most for Hoang. 

Some student organizations were inactive during the pandemic and chose to use Cat’s Back to find new members as they restart operations. One such group is the Forensic Psychology Club, which aims to educate its members while also providing career opportunities.

Victoria Davila, a psychology senior and president of the FPC, said she wanted to host a variety of events spanning from educational meetings to fun socials.

“We want to cover in our meetings how to actually become a forensic psychologist,” Davila said. “We also want to deep dive into serial killers and that sort of thing as well.”

Another student organization that has returned is the UH chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, which provides opportunities for journalism students to network and connect with local job opportunities.

Broadcast journalism junior Auyana Aird, the president of the chapter, said she wanted to restart the club because she felt that it served an important need.

“The main goal is to bring a positive vibe to Black UH,” Aird said, “especially with all the negative things happening right now in our city and just in the world as a whole.”

This semester’s Cat’s Back also saw the debut of several new organizations, such as Downtime. This group aims to connect students during their free time through a newly developed app, intending to help them make friends on campus.

Business junior Elina Nguyen is a member of the Downtime team and explained how the app fulfills a unique need. 

“So let’s say it’s after 2:30 and all your friends are busy,” Nguyen said. “Downtime lets you access a database of over 200 students to find someone available at the same time as you to hang out with.”

When asked about the long lines and packed rooms that multiple students complained about, Cat’s Back volunteer Cass DeCarolis noted how full the student dormitories were and suggested a change of space for next semester.

“Residential life is at 97 percent capacity right now, so that makes a big difference,” DeCarolis said. “I wonder if it would benefit them to use Student Center North or host the event outside because right now our biggest problem is that there are so many people and so little space.”

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