Campus organizations offer social networking for students

When freshmen first step on campus, they usually have to-do lists longer than convocation. But after finally settling in and getting to know the ropes, what is a college newcomer to do?

From high stepping in the “Marching 100,” to networking in professional organizations, students have a plethora of extracurricular activities to choose from.

“State clubs are good to join, especially if you’re from a city outside of Florida,” said Alice Mathis, the director of the Office of Student Union and Activities.

Mathis said students often find riding partners for trips home in such clubs.

Various organizations have been established to suit the wide array of interests within the student body.

“Getting involved allows you to network for opportunities and to be a decision maker,” said Sarah Bean, a senior criminal justice student from Detroit.

After just one week of class, some freshmen have already decided to get involved.

Raynard Brant, a freshman secondary education student from Vero Beach, said he plans to join student government because he wants the freshmen voices to be heard.

“Personally, I don’t like to get lost in the shuffle, I want to make a difference,” Brant said. “If we’re not involved, no one will hear us.”

Associate Director of OSUA Saundra Inge said club membership is a good way to help incoming students adjust to living without their families and friends.

Mathis agreed and added participating in extracurricular activities can lead to potential friendships.

Although she encourages students to become active on campus, Inge said before making a commitment, students should research clubs and organizations of their interest. Aspects to consider before joining a particular organization include the amount of time required and membership dues. A problem that stops many incoming students from joining groups is a lack of information.

“I don’t know how to get into [the clubs],” said Edward Wright, 18, from St. Petersburg.

The freshman criminal justice student said he is interested in getting involved, but said he does not know what clubs are available to him.

A clubs and organizations fair will be held Sept.15, on the Set from noon to 3 p.m. Participating associations will set up tables where interested students can receive information and sign up.

Mathis said involvement in on-campus activities is good, but students should remember to focus on the ultimate goal: Graduating.

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