RSOs offer students opportunities for extracurriculer involvement

by Life Editor Melissa Parker

With over 100 Registered Student Organizations, students looking to get involved on campus have many options to choose from including l service, Greek and academic organizations.

OrgSync, which students can find through the UNA website, is a great resource to see which student organizations are available, said Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson.

Senior Alex Hughes, Live Acts Chairman of the University Program Council and member of Alpha Tau Omega, said being a part of student organizations has been rewarding and helped him make friends and meet people to network with later.

“You also get a lot of experience,” he said. “I’ve got a job waiting for me after graduation just off the experience I’ve had from being involved in SGA and ATO.”

If students want to get involved but are not sure how, Thompson suggests they step out of their comfort zones and talk to others.

“You have to think, ‘everybody is in the same boat as me,’” he said.

Senior Allison Lawrence said being involved in student organizations has helped her see how making connections is important.

However, making the decision to join was not an easy one, she said.

“I’ve never been a fan of joining school groups,” she said. “Once I got into my majors, my professors stressed the importance of PRIDE (Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence) and MEISA (The Music and Entertainment Industry Students Association) so I decided to give them a shot.”

Welcome Week is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, Thompson said.

There are a lot of opportunities to talk to other students, whether it is standing in line waiting for an event to start or just going to an event and hanging out, he said.

Thompson said weekend events are another good way to meet people.

There are weekend movie nights throughout the year and tailgating on Spirit Quad before every home football game, he said.

“It’s those little things where people make connections,” he said. “That’s where friendships start.”

Anyone unsure of how to get involved should set up an appointment with a Student Leadership Consultant, a new role in the Office of Student Engagement, Thompson said.

Talk with an SLC and fill out a questionnaire, he said. The SLC provides resources and helps the student connect with groups with common interests.

Thompson said he also encourages students to attend SGA and UPC meetings, which are open to everyone.

SGA meets every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and UPC meets every Monday at 3:30 p.m. Both meet in GUC room 200.

Those students looking for something a little different should visit the Outdoor Adventure Center located across from the George Lindsey Theater.

Besides providing outdoor gear including camping supplies, hammocks, bikes and kayaks free to all UNA students, the OAC also holds events throughout the year, said Coordinator of Outdoor Programs and Special Events Patrick Shremshock.

Sophomore Jessica Coffey said being part of the OAC is good for college students because they can be active and make new friends.

“They have options such as short little one-hour clinics for students who have busy schedules, or weekend-long trips. They even had a four-day long ski trip over New Year’s which I participated in and received class credit for,” she said.

Junior Javarice Moody, a member of both the Film club and the University Players, said being part of these groups has been rewarding not only for the benefits of learning about the fields he wants to go into but also for the friends he has made.

“College doesn’t feel like just going through the motions anymore because I’m always doing something that keeps my creative and productive juices flowing,” he said. “If the college experience is what you make of it, then these RSOs have been the most rewarding choices I’ve made at UNA.”