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Student Involvement

Research shows that students who participate in student organizations report a higher level of satisfaction with their college experience than those who do not. Some benefits of student organization involvement include:

  • Providing students with the opportunity to exercise and develop leadership, advocacy, and organizational skills
  • Complementing and strengthening the formal academic experience by enriching the public discourse on important academic, political, artistic, and social issues
  • Providing students a means for students to pursue diverse interests that formal academic programs may not provide
  • Serving as an important social network with peers who have similar interest

Learning About Organizations

The Student Activities Office and Center for Civic Engagement host an Activities Fair at the beginning of fall semester where registered student organizations set up booths and introduce themselves to prospective members. It is a great way to learn more about a lot of organizations in one setting. A few weeks following, the Center for Civic Engagement hosts a Community Involvement Fair where you can learn more about the community organizations and service. In the fall, the Patterson Court Council will hold separate information sessions about joining a fraternity, sorority or eating house.

While these are all great opportunities to make contacts with lots of organizations at once, you can always contact the organization leaders to see how to get involved throughout the year. Download the Student Organization Leaders List (PDF).

Choosing an Organization

Begin with things that are important to you. Having deep and committed involvement in a couple of organizations is more beneficial than being on the email list for dozens of organizations. Before joining an organization, ask yourself some questions, and then ask the organization leaders some questions.

Ask Yourself:

  • Do I primarily want to make new friends?
  • Do I want to work on something I believe in?
  • Do I want to explore something new?
  • Are there new skills and abilities I'd like to gain?
  • Do I want to be in a group that relates to my major or career?
  • Do I want to be of service to the campus or community?
  • How much time do I have for an organization?

Ask The Organization:

  • How often does the organization meet?
  • What are the expectations of members? Can I join other organizations while I am a member?
  • Is there a membership fee? If so, are there payment options available?
  • What opportunities exist for me to hold a leadership position? Can new members hold membership positions?
  • What activities does the organization plan?
  • What made you join this organization?
  • What do you do to have fun?

Once you've joined a student organization, introduce yourself to people, ask questions, express ideas, and volunteer your time and energy. You'll feel like a real member of the group when you are a contributing member.