HOW TO: Get involved on campus

Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet new people, network with professionals and take that much needed break from classes.

Most students will tell you that their college experience is greatly enriched by participating in an extracurricular activity. While the academic environment at Tech is designed to help you develop the tools and skills necessary to compete in a global economy, getting involved with an organization on campus can help you mature as a person and develop leadership skills. In addition, it can help you enrich your portfolio for employment or grad school.

Tech has over 400 clubs and organizations that serve people from all different backgrounds and interests, and during the first and second week of school many of these organizations will be out and about showcasing their offerings. Whether you are interested in joining a service, religious, academic or other organization, Tech prides itself in offering something for everybody.

The Office of Student Involvement will hold an Involvement Week Organization Fair from August 25-28 on Skiles. New students are encouraged to visit the fair to get more information about clubs and organizations.

While many organizations operate year round and welcome new members on a rolling basis, certain organizations do require students to meet certain criteria and deadlines. If you’re interested in joining a Greek organization, or even if you are simply interested in finding out more about Greek life, attending fraternity rush or sorority recruitment is encouraged. Recruitment and rush are held during the first week of school by most Greek organizations.

Tech also has certain organizations that are tailored specifically for first-year students called Freshman Leadership Organizations, or FLOs. These organizations are tailored for new students and are usually mentored by a team of upperclassmen. FLOs are a great way to meet fellow first-years and engage in fun activities that develop your leadership skills and give you a chance to serve the community. The FLOs include: Emerging Leaders, Freshman Activities Board, Freshman Council, Freshman Foundation, freShGA and Residence Hall Council. Every FLO has an application deadline, so be sure to find out about them and apply in a timely manner.

Taking care of your personal health and fitness should be an important consideration for all students. In addition to providing state of the art facilities for exercise and recreation, the CRC offers a plethora of group exercise courses. The CRC also conducts intramural sports that you can participate in with your hall, Greek organization or independent team. T

he Student Center also offers non-credit classes called options courses. Like the classes offered at the CRC, these also require an additional fee to join, and the cover a variety of topics from belly dancing to music lessons to windsurfing.

Although getting involved on campus can positively impact your college experience and help your transition to college, joining too many clubs and organizations can have an adverse impact on your academics.

Over-extending yourself across too many organizations can make it difficult to scale back when you have too much schoolwork. Join whatever organization you want, just time manage as a student first, and a member of a club second.

When you’re at the club fair or at an organizational meeting, don’t be afraid to ask about what kind time commitment the organization expects.

Devote some time to the other transitional issues you’ll face as a new student, like living with your roommate, and the rigor of college classes. Still, try to find an organization or two that fit your interests and persona. Getting involved in the right organization can make the difference between a good experience and a great experience in college.