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Saturday, June 15, 2024

On-campus fair showcases alternative local organizations

Students who steered clear of Sorority and Fraternity Row this semester in favor of a more independent and alternative lifestyle can still rush today on Plaza of the Americas. 

Radical Rush, an organizational fair featuring 25 different alternative groups throughout Gainesville, will be on campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some of the groups that will be there include The Fine Print, Wild Iris Books, Gainesville Roller Rebels and UF Amnesty International. The fair was also on campus Wednesday and at Santa Fe College earlier in the week. 

One of the event organizers, Kenzie Cooke, said, “The traffic here at UF has been fairly steady, especially since the study abroad fair is going on.”

The Civic Media Center, a local alternative library and reading room, started Radical Rush in 1998 as a response to Greek rush week, said Nailah Summers, 26, who is also an event coordinator.

The fair’s goal is to show students both on- and off-campus alternative groups, Summers said, the majority of which are politically focused and community based.

On Friday, the Civic Media Center will host a pizza party and karaoke at 7 p.m. — another opportunity for the groups to socialize with each other, Cooke, 22, said.  

“It’s a chance to build bridges with the vendors and the new volunteers,” she said.

Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the Death Penalty was one of the many vendors at the fair, aiming to raise awareness about the death penalty, said Miriam Welly Elliott, co-coordinator of the group. Volunteers typically sign birthday cards and holiday cards for inmates on death row, she said.

“There are usually over 400 cards that we sign,” she said.

The Repurpose Project was also at the fair, letting students know about its new location on Northeast 23rd Avenue, which will be near Satchel’s, and its mission to transform landfill trash like bathtubs, sinks and paperclips into sellable items

“Art students love us because we have a lot of useful material for them and their art,” said Lauren Corley, a 19-year-old UF sustainability major.

[A version of this story ran on page 6 on 9/18/2014 under the headline "On-campus fair showcases alternative local organizations"]

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