BY KRISTIN MILLER – firstname.lastname@example.org
Anime, actuary, American Sign Language, and advertising are just a few among the many interests supported by student organizations at MSUM.
A recent campaign by the Office of Student Activities is aiming to encourage more students to join organizations. It is also working to get the word out about why engaging on campus and in the community is a valuable part of student life.
The campaign, which will feature different student groups and leaders throughout the year, utilizes a set of boards in the CMU that illustrate the message: “Get Active, Get Connected, Get Involved.”
“That’s kind of our mantra,” said Steve Fox, interim assistant director of leadership and organizations.
So far this year, the boards have featured Welcome Week information for incoming students in residence halls and homecoming week activities. And with over 100 organizations on campus, they won’t have any shortage of events and groups to highlight.
“We’ve tried to really balance what we’re going to feature,” said Annie Wood, assistant director for communications and student engagement.
Wood said they decided to create this campaign after seeing the space, which previously was home to wooden frames organizations updated periodically, had more potential.
“The previous organization boards weren’t getting utilized as intended,” she said, adding that they hope the space will now be more dynamic and engaging for students.
All the effort they have made is in the hope more students will get involved on campus, something both said is a key component of a positive university experience. Additionally, they said campus involvement not only gives students a sense of connection to their fellow Dragons, but may affect the retention rate.
“If they find something they connect with, they develop that sense of belonging … and are more likely to stay,” Fox said about students who take advantage of all the diverse opportunities campus has to offer.
“It’s about helping them create memories, shape their MSUM experience,” Wood said. “Students who are in at least one activity tend to persist at university.”
Student organizations fall into the categories of campus life, athletic, service, Greek life, academic, diversity and social justice, religious, and special interest. They cover a broad range of interests and involve students from every major on campus.
With so many organizations to choose from, Wood said students can always stop by the OSA to get an idea of where to start.
“Most of them are accepting new members at any time,” she said. “If you haven’t gotten a chance to join a student organization, take a look at the list.”
That list can be found online at the OSA’s page on MSUM’s website.
“It’s never too late to get involved,” she said, adding a bit of advice for students who might feel apprehensive to go to that first meeting. “If you’re nervous, take a friend!”
Fox also said that the diverse opportunities on campus allow students to find the perfect fit for their interests, allowing them to make the most of their time at MSUM.
“It’s like Dragon pride,” he said. “We all interpret that in different ways.”