Campus organizations enrich college experience

Jims Porter

With more than 100 student organizations and clubs, IUS students have a wide range of opportunities to get involved on campus. Participating in these organizations — which range from chapters of both College Democrats and Republicans to a group for Asian pop culture enthusiasts — is a great way to make friends, pursue interests and enrich the college experience.

The types of extracurricular programs offered to IU Southeast students include athletic, academic, political, and religious in addition to a variety of special interest and hobby themed groups. The variety of available organizations serves several purposes for students, from gaining leadership experience to a chance to relax and socialize.

Lyndsey Cooper, advertising junior, said campus involvement helps students identify their interests and apply them to their studies. Now the vice president of College Democrats and president of the newly formed Feminist Alliance, Cooper said she was unsure of what she wanted to do until she joined College Democrats.

“Once I joined … I was able to pinpoint where I wanted to be. I decided to minor in political science and that I wanted to work in communications and public resources on political campaigns,” said Cooper.

Her involvement on campus also led to opportunities to sit on the Floyd County Democratic Party board as a representative of IU Southeast College Democrats and serve as the communications director for the College Democrats of Indiana.

Seeking involvement on campus can be particularly beneficial to incoming freshman. It is easy to overlook club involvement while balancing the other elements of a rigorous school schedule, but senior Alex Giesler, a marketing student and president of the Marketing Club, said, “Incorporating club involvement into your schedule early on is a way to ensure long-term involvement throughout your academic career.”

“Clubs like the Marketing Club grant a unique opportunity, especially for freshmen, because our trips to well-renowned local firms… along with discussions with professionals… allow students to experience first hand difference careers and work environments that can guide your academic pursuits,” Giesler said.

Other students find that participation in extracurricular activities solidifies their desire to pursue a specific career path. These programs can help students gain knowledge and experience in the fields they study.

Kalia Pinkston, a senior in international studies, knew long before she started her education at IU Southeast that she wanted to join the Peace Corp post-graduation. Last summer, she participated in the Spanish program’s Ecuador Education Program—an experience she says affirmed her dream to join the Peace Corp.

Pinkston said, “Going to Ecuador helped in my knowing that living overseas and doing something worthwhile are goals that I want to actualize, not just dreams romanticized in my head.”

These programs and resources are available for students’ benefit. Taking advantage of them provides opportunities to learn, grow and make friends. For a full list of student organizations and clubs available at IU Southeast, visit the Campus Life website at: www.ius.edu/campuslife/involvement/Complete_List_of_Clubs_and_Organizations.