Campus organizations foster interests, friendships and much more
By Shelly Mumma
Director of Leadership, Service and Involvement
Had you been on campus one late afternoon last month, you would have noticed the large number of students milling about the tables that were organized along the newly paved sidewalk that crosses through the middle of campus.
Hundreds of students came out on this bright windy day in September to get hundreds of their classmates involved in any of the more than 70 student organizations and campus departments represented at the 2007 Involvement Fair.
Students were looking for a group that looked like a good fit with their interests. Maybe it was a particular academic discipline, maybe a way to serve our community, maybe a cause or issue of interest, maybe just a way to make new friends. Leadership, Service and Involvement staff believe the organizations that participated in the Involvement Fair serve all these purposes.
St. Norbert boasts organizations ranging from the curiously named tree-loving organization, The Society: Amantes Arboreus, to Beyond Borders, an organization focused on diversity at St. Norbert and to expanding horizons of friendship and learning.
Each year new clubs and organizations form. Several organizations are currently going through the process for recognition.
A boxing club is in the formation process with several students interested and an advisor with former boxing experience all ready to get in the ring. The tag line of this group is “Think like a scholar, train like a boxer, enjoy the sweet science.”
Students interested in the art of improvisation might find themselves involved with the N.I.N.J.A. Inc. improvisation group. This group has several members and performs every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at ComedyCity in De Pere.
As a student, you knew organizations like these were valuable. But, you probably thought they were important because they were fun. And they were … they are still. But, there’s more. Involvement in an organization enables a student to
- apply the theoretical concepts he/she learns in class.
- try out different styles of time management, goal setting and leadership while deciding which style “feels right.”
- learn about the needs in our greater community and how to serve them.
- learn about possible career paths based on how their co-curricular involvement interacts with their academic interests.
- have a meaningful connection to someone else at college.
- use this group of friends to get to know themselves.
When I think about these things now, I see how my involvement in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or the Residence Hall Association (RHA) helped me do each of those things.
I had no idea at the time.
At the time I knew that being a member of PRSSA guaranteed that I knew other people in the classes within my discipline, therefore guaranteeing an easier time putting together groups for class projects or studying.
Or, working with RHA meant that I knew people in every residence hall and I could always find someone with whom to share a meal in the dining hall.
Upon reflection I now know that my interactions with others in those groups helped me learn all those things I listed above and then some.
In fact, I’m still learning through interactions with some of those people. Don’t we ultimately hope that these kinds of involvement will assist students to, in their turn and in many different ways, become life-long learners?