Joining clubs, organizations gives new students advantages and opportunities
March 4, 2015
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Moving from high school to college or transferring to a new school can be difficult for a student, but becoming involved in the clubs and organizations offered on campus are ways to help adjust to a new school. Slippery Rock University has over 150 clubs and organizations available for students to be a part of, ranging from faith-based to academic to social Greek organizations that can provide them with worthwhile experiences that can’t be taught in the classroom.
The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) is an organization dedicated to serving student needs and voicing student concerns across campus in order to make their voices heard. Its ethics statement, “SGA is all E.A.R.S,” reinforces the idea that the organization will enhance, advocate, represent and support student interests from the freshman to the graduate level through the work of its executive board and senators.
Senior early childhood and special education major, Katie Hill, 21, became involved during her sophomore year after being elected the residence hall senator for Watson Hall, later became a commuter senator and now holds the title of SGA President. Hill acts as liaison between the student body and the administration and oversees the senate’s 35 members and the projects they’re working on.
“This just seemed like the next step for me on my leadership journey,” Hill said. “I have a huge passion not only for Slippery Rock, but also for the students here. This is just one way I could continue giving back to the university that has given me so much.”
Freshmen interested in joining SGA have the opportunity to run for one of four freshman senator positions or an open residence hall senator seat after filling out an application, attending a formal SGA meeting and receiving the most votes from current members. Hill believes that becoming involved on campus has helped her grow as a leader and a person, and she encourages new students to do the same.
“The reason why I encourage them to get involved is because you get so many opportunities through it, like meeting new people and you get to be a part of an organization that’s thriving and functioning very well,” Hill said.
Students that want to show their school spirit can join Green and White Society, an organization known for its dedication to promoting SRU’s four traditions, providing entertainment for students at sporting events and working with alumni to create networking opportunities. Every semester, Green and White Society holds a three-step recruitment process that asks students to fill out an application, attend a group event like fall’s Homecoming or spring’s birthday celebration and complete a personal interview with committee members.
Junior business management major and communication minor, Samantha Rivet, 21, has been actively involved in the society since fall 2012, and previously served as its recruitment chair. Rivet knew that when she came to SRU she wanted to be involved on campus and be a part of an organization that promoted traditions.
“I love promoting school spirit and tradition, and I also thought that it would be a great way to be involved and meet other people and form lifetime friendships,” Rivet said. “I wanted to do something that showed my passion and love for Slippery Rock to others.”
Beyond promoting school pride, Green and White Society gives students opportunities for professional growth through the Backpacks to Briefcases program which helps students network with alumni, and the Case ASAP conference where members of the society are able to make presentations on the best ways to better their organization.
Backpacks to Briefcases allows for students to mingle with alumni to talk about their journey with Slippery Rock and the conference gives students the chance to meet people from other schools and learn about their organizations, Rivet said.
An institution known for its teaching program, SRU has several clubs and organizations on campus specific to education majors and for those that have a passion for working with kids. While its mission is to help members get a better understanding of the College of Education and prepare them for teaching in the future, the Early Childhood Club is open to students from all majors.
The majority of its members are freshmen and sophomores that want to gain professional experience and practice working with children. Senior early childhood and special education major and former Early Childhood Club treasurer, Connor MacKelvey, 22, believes that becoming involved will help distinguish a student from their peers when job hunting in the future.
“This club is going to put you one step ahead of everyone else that has the same degree as you,” MacKelvey said. “When you join this organization you’re going to understand how you can build your resume based off of events that we have, and you’re going to grow as an educator in understanding what you can and can’t have on social media.”
As a transfer student, MacKelvey learned from personal experience that getting involved as a new student is a great way to network and that it’s important that students get involved during their first year.
“It’s essential that students on campus get involved because not only are they going to reap the benefits of working with other people that have the same interests in values as them, but they’re also going to grow as a person as well,” MacKelvey said.