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Student Government Hosts Inaugural Eagle Convention

Courtney Padgett

On Saturday, Feb. 3, FGCU Student Government (SG) and Weeks of Welcome hosted the first inaugural Eagle Convention, also known as Eagle Con. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., many clubs and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) on campus hosted various activities. Most of the activities were located around campus at the Cohen Student Union, Sugden Hall and on the Library Lawn.

According to their Instagram page, SG first advertised Eagle Con on Dec. 12. RSOs that were interested in showcasing their organization applied before Jan. 13. Senior Alyssa Oquendo, who acted as Chair of the Eagle Con Special Committee, was in charge of planning the event.

“The planning of this started back in July of 2023 and the goal was to connect student government with all the RSOs and departments and give them a chance to showcase what makes them amazing,” she said. “Whether that is going on to the community and volunteering or maybe sharing all of their culture and heritage, it is just a great celebration of all the student involvement we have here.”

According to Oquendo, the planning around Eagle Con was based on other conventions like Supercon or Comic Con where guests arrive and walk around to various booths, tables and demonstrations, usually wearing cosplay of their favorite characters. 

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“I modeled this after your typical Comic Con or an anime convention you would go to in which there are different breakout rooms of panels, workshops and demonstrations,” Oquendo said. “But I really wanted it to be FGCU focused, so that is why you see a lot of the clubs taking time out of their Saturday to be able to share their passions.”

Throughout the weeks leading up to Eagle Con, SG posted more online fliers and advertisements on its Instagram page and on FGCU’s Eagle Link.

“I found out about Eagle Con on an Instagram story through student government as they posted a flier on there and it was really helpful,” SG Director of Government Relations, Jessica Hattemer, said. “I shared it with other people as well so they had publicity on it.”

At Eagle Con, the main check-in area was on the first floor of the Cohen Student Union where student club officers took attendance. Upstairs in Cohen, multiple campus gaming clubs were set up with different consoles and set-ups. Some of the games including “Just Dance,” “Guitar Hero” and “Beat Saber” were popular among attendees.

“I am here for all of the festivities, but more importantly, I was here for the Gaming Club,” Hattemer said. “I was very excited doing the rhythm gaming, especially since they have Beat Saber, which I am very competitive in.”

In Sugden Hall, several clubs such as the Dominican Republic Outreach Program and the Cooking Club hosted activities based on what their organizations represent with themed music and presentations. Lunch was also served in Sugden Hall with sandwiches and drinks for student participants. 

In the early afternoon hours, several more RSOs and sports clubs were set up along the Library Lawn as they hosted outdoor tabling events and sports competitions.

One of the biggest events that was advertised at Eagle Con was a cosplay presentation panel and contest at 3 p.m. The cosplay events were a big draw at Eagle Con as many students showed up in their full costume and cosplay sets. 

“I really enjoyed the fact that cosplay was an aspect of it,” Theater major, Tatum Bates, said. “Not only that but there were so many different clubs here and so many different events and I thought it would be a really good opportunity to get me more involved in the school and what it has to offer.”

A closing ceremony was scheduled at 5 p.m. in Cohen, but no ceremony ended up taking place. Throughout the day there were several other events that were scheduled but ended up not taking place due to unknown reasons.

Around 203 people in total were in attendance throughout Eagle Con. However, this attendance was spread throughout the day. Several areas that would have seen a lot of student traffic were mostly quiet.

“There has not really been a convention at FGCU ever, so we definitely have a lot of room to grow,” Oquendo said. “Mainly that we probably should not have done it on a Saturday with not a lot of shuttle transportation to take students here. We are learning from that feedback and we are probably looking into doing it on a weekday next year. We are also open to seeing if any other months that this event would be applicable, but we would need a few months to plan it.”

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