Anyone who is a fan of the Fox television show Glee knows what Rachel Berry’s philosophy is about joining different student organizations: Join as many groups as you possibly can whether you belong in them or not. Her lack of belonging is demonstrated by being the wanna-be-cool girl in the Renaissance Club, the Jewish girl in the Muslim Society and the white girl in the Black Alliance Club.
While the approach of joining student organizations that hold no interest to you or that you have no reason to join is probably not the best idea, getting involved in relevant campus activities is fun and easy.
At NKU, all of the different student organizations are using OrgSync, your one-stop shop for everything from social to political organizations.
“OrgSync is kind of like Facebook, but just for NKU. Students can set up their profile and connect with organizations and each other,” said Betty Mulkey, director of Student Life.
OrgSync is up to date with current information and includes a calendar of student organization events.To access OrgSync, go to http://nku.orgsync.com/ and select “Register.” Then select “Northern Kentucky University” and after that you can set up your profile and begin looking at the different student organizations NKU offers.
Joining different groups and organizations provides many advantages to the people who are willing to utilize these opportunities. Many students attend class and then go straight home. This has the potential to make those students feel lonely and disconnected from their fellow peers. But student organizations counteract the feeling of isolation.
“On a campus this size, it can be very easy to feel alone. You may make friends in class, but you may never see them after that semester,” Mulkey said. “Involvement gives you a connection and makes you feel like this is where you belong.”
Students who are involved on campus are generally much happier and more likely to graduate than students who are uninvolved.
“Getting to know other students who share a common interest really makes going to school a lot more enjoyable,” Mulkey said. “In fact, all the studies show that students who are engaged on campus are significantly more satisfied with their college experience. Students who get involved graduate at a much higher rate than those who do not get involved.”
Involvement in student organizations will also benefit after graduation. A student who becomes a leader or member of a student organization will definitely have a great asset to their resume.
“Joining an organization and assuming a leadership role provides a job candidate with talking points and evidence that they can work well on a team and lead the team as well,” Mulkey said. “Without that experience, a potential employee will appear to be very one-dimensional and not the well rounded candidate that employers want to hire.”
Finding the right student organization should not prove to be too complicated, as NKU offers more than 200 different groups, ranging from Anime and Ultimate Frisbee to College Republicans, College Democrats and the League of United Latin American Citizens. There is even a board game group — the Table Top Club. And Norse Film Society watches and produces films.
If your specific area of interest does not have an organization to go along with it, then you can create a new group by visiting the Student Life Office on campus. Mikey Adkins did just that last year when he helped co-found NKY Equality Now.
“I first just started going to meetings around Common Ground, and then through some conversations with people, realized that we needed a little something more on campus and so we started NKYEN,” Adkins said, now president of NKY Equality Now. NKYEN is an organization that is involved with the civil rights struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer equality across the state and nation.
Amanda Griffith, Political Actioon Committee Chair for NKY Equality Now, also saw this need for a new organization.
“The groups on campus that did exist were social groups that help people socially, but I wanted something to help us politically and there wasn’t anything until last year,” Griffith said. “It is what I was looking for in an organization. It is politically driven for the betterment of the community at large.”
In addition to political and social organizations, NKU offers many academic organizations.
Getting involved with academic student organizations is another helpful tool when looking for a job after graduation. Many groups have alumni boards so you can meet with people who are already working in your field. These groups allow you to network with people who are in your career field and can one day help you land a job. You will also gain insight into what your professional career will be like after getting that diploma you worked so hard to get. NKU offers a wide variety of student organizations that focus on academics, such as: the Northern Geology Club, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and the American Marketing Association.
“I lived off campus for two years and I would come to campus and take classes and leave and I was doing terrible in classes and I just wasn’t having a good time, so I finally gave in and listened to my friends who were like ‘seriously get involved in stuff’ and it really is true,” Adkins said,
Whatever student organization you choose to become involved with, odds are you will be pleased — as long as you don’t follow Rachel Berry’s approach. Do the research and join the organizations that fit with your interests.
If you have questions about getting involved on campus, you can stop by the Student Life Office in room 303 of the Student Union. To schedule an appointment, call: 859-572-6514, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Matthew Brewer