Student Unions & Activities : University of Minnesota

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What are the Activities Fairs?

The Activities Fairs are one-day events where student groups table to promote themselves to new members. There are two in the Fall (Explore U and Minneapolis) and one in the Spring.

When and where do they take place?

Explore U takes place on the Saturday before the Fall semester begins, in Mariucci Arena. Only freshmen are allowed to attend.

The Minneapolis Activities Fair takes place during the second week of the Fall semester in front on the Coffman Front Plaza. All students are allowed to attend.

The Spring Activities Fair takes place in the first few weeks of the semester in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union.

To find specific dates, please visit here.


Where and when can my group sign up for the Activities Fairs?

Signups for the Fall Activities Fairs open in June and will appear as a link on the Activities Fair & Paint the Bridge page. For the Spring Activities Fair, signups open in December. Reminders with the exact dates are sent to all the listed officers of your group beforehand so that you may plan ahead.

Who can table at the Activities Fairs?

Any currently-registered student group in good standing with Student Unions & Activities (SUA) will be able to sign up for the Activities Fair(s).

I am a University department—can I participate?

No, the Activities Fairs are for student groups only.

Do I need to re-register my group first?

Not if you are already currently registered. You can view your group’s registration status on the Student Group Directory. If your group has expired, please contact and indicate that you would like to restart the group.

How do I know if my group signed up?

Upon signup, a confirmation email is sent to the main and secondary email addresses that were entered on the signup form.

What is the deadline for signing up?

Groups are typically given about a month to sign up. However, keep in mind that signups are first-come, first-served and often fill quickly (especially for Explore U).


How much do the fairs cost?

The Fall Activities Fairs cost $15 for each fair. The Spring Activities Fair is free for groups to participate in.

What does this cover?

Table and chair rentals, tablecloths and table clips. (Chairs are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

How do I pay?

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) can pay by cash or check at the Student Activities Office (Coffman 126). Please write checks to the University of Minnesota and include your student group name and ID number on the memo line.

Campus Life Programs (CLPs) must submit EFS numbers in the signup form.

Can I mail my payment?

Yes. Please use the following address and do not send cash:        

Student Activities Office
Attn: Activities Fair
126 Coffman Memorial Union
300 Washington Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

What if my group can’t pay by the deadline?

We recommend mailing your payment. Groups must pay in order to hold their spot. If payment is not made by the deadline, your table will be given to a group on the waitlist.

Why does the site say that I need to pay $500 to participate in Explore U?

You are likely looking at OFYP's (Office for First-Year Programs) site for vendors. These are for businesses, restaurants and organizations that are placed on the bottom level of Mariucci at Explore U. Student groups only need to pay $15 and signups are first-come, first-served.


What happens when a fair fills?

A waitlist option will appear on the signup form and you can click it to place your group on a waitlist.

What are the chances of moving off the waitlist?

There is no guarantee of spaces opening, but as soon as a group drops out of a fair, waitlisted groups are contacted in the order they signed up.

Can my group wait on the day of the fair for a chance to get a table?

Yes, but though your group may wait as early as you want, there is no guarantee that tables will become available.

Once all groups have checked in, waitlisted groups will be accepted in the order they arrived and based on the number of remaining tables.

What happens if my group is late to check in?

Groups that don't show by the final check-in time will lose their spot to a waitlisted group.

At the Fair

When does check-in begin?

At the time indicated on the confirmation email. You can arrive as early as you want and wait in line before check-in begins. You will then check-in with SUA staff before claiming a table.

Will my group have access to an electrical outlet?

Some tables may have access to a nearby outlet. Your group will need to check in early to find and claim one.

Is my group assigned a table?

No, tables are available first-come, first-served on the day of the event.

What is my group allowed to bring?

Due to space constraints, you can only bring items that fit under or behind your table. Groups typically bring tablecloths, tri-fold boards, flyers, brochures and giveaways. Due to space constraints, any large objects may be subject to removal. If you have questions about if your object will be allowed, please email

Are there any rules about food and giveaways?

Printed material must include the group's name and contact information. Food must be pre-packaged, individually-wrapped and store-bought. Any beverages handed out must be Coca-Cola products. No fundraising activities or sales are allowed.

Following Housing & Residential Life policies, groups are not allowed to give these items away: door stops, candles & incense, decorative lighting, door-mounted dry erase boards and alcohol-related paraphernalia.

How many members are allowed at our table?

At least one member from your group must be at the table at all times. While tabling, members must stay within ten feet of the table.

At Explore U, due to space constraints, each group is limited to only four members at a time.

What do I do if I want to express concern regarding a group at the Activities Fair?

For more information on submitting a complaint against a group, see here.