Did you feel detached from campus happenings last year? All that could change this year, this semester.
More than just sitting next to each other in class or in the living room down the hall from one another, students on your campus are a tightly knit community. Together, you create policies for one another, produce a rich culture of student art and performances, and organize initiatives to help each other academically and emotionally.
Chances are, if you’ve been at your college for a while, you’re familiar with all the different clubs and organizations available to students, and may even be a part of a few. However, if you are looking for new ways to get involved, here are a few places you can start:
1. Take a stand.
Is there a campus policy that you’ve been feeling upset about? Or an issue in your college town or city that makes your blood boil? Taking a stand and participating in student activism is a fulfilling way to have an impact on those around you, and meet others who are interested in doing the same.
There already may be a group on your campus tackling these issues, or you may need to organize one yourself, which you can do by reaching out to people through social media or creating flyers. Once you have a team in place, you can discuss the best ways to proceed. From writing a petition to booking a meeting with student government leaders or campus administrators, you can make a difference through perseverance and planning.
2. Run for student government.
Maybe there isn’t a particular issue on your mind, but instead you want to be involved in the overall decisions that affect you and the student body. By running for student government, not only will you be put in a spot where you will be interacting with students and administrators from all over your college, but you will also think deeply about how you can improve your campus community.
Running for student government is a risk since getting a position is never a guarantee. You’ll have to put in time and energy into organizing an effective campaign. However, if you do this with other friends by your side who are passionate about the same kinds of policies, it’ll be a great experience no matter the outcome.
3. Support other groups.
Being involved on campus doesn’t mean you have to join all the student activities on campus. If your schedule is too busy, or you aren’t completely sure if you want to commit to a club, you can still support groups by attending the activities that they host. Here’ are some ideas:
- Attend a student performance (dance, theater, a capella, etc.)
- Contribute to or participate in a fundraiser or bake sale
- Cheer for your sports teams at games
- Volunteer to help community service groups on one of their outings
Some of your friends may be part of groups that have sounded interesting to you in the past. Supporting them at the events they have organized will mean a lot to your buddies and be a great way to get a sense of what the groups do.
4. Take on a leadership position.
You may already be participating in some student activities that you have been enjoying and want to be a part of this upcoming year. If you are looking to feel more involved on campus, a good way of doing this is by taking on a leadership position within the group.
As the new semester starts, many groups will be looking for new presidents and board members to help the group take on a new direction. Having a larger role in your student group will help you feel like you have more of a say in innovating and managing your goals. It’ll also create a space where you can work closely with others who are equally invested in the organization.
5. Consider Greek life.
Greek life often gets a bad rap, and it’s realities vary vastly from campus to campus. However, if you’ve seen positive contributions from the fraternities and sororities at your school, you may want to ask some questions about what it means to join.
Greek life organizations can provide you with both an outlet to have fun, but also participate in community service work. Most fraternities and sororities have a national philanthropy that they raise money for throughout the year. Also, becoming part of your campus Greek life can embed you in a network of both past and future generations who are proud of their letters.
6. Become a tour guide.
Remember those friendly people who paraded you around the campus as they walked backwards and told you about each of the college dorms? You could become one of those tour guides, leading students around, and telling them about the university.
Becoming a tour guide for your campus can put you back in touch with your university pride, since you will have to answer questions about what the college means to you and how you decided to go there. There are different procedures for taking up this kind of position, so make sure to contact your campus’ admissions office for more information.
7. Volunteer on campus.
Colleges offer lots of ways to give back to the community by helping other students. From tutoring to crisis hotlines to campus EMT services, there are a lot of ways you can volunteer your time and skill set to contribute to your college. Knowing you are part of an initiative that keeps students happier and healthier can be a gratifying way to feel like you have a larger stake in your university.
Looking for more ways to achieve the goals you set out for your fall semester? Check out the previous article in our series: This Fall I Want to Make More Friends