Why Get Involved?

By William Takewell, Student Activities Communication Specialist

Upon arrival at The University of Southern Mississippi, students are pulled in a variety of directions by student organizations-up to 227 to be exact. This process can be extremely overwhelming and difficult to sort through during such an important time of transition from one phase of life into another. Our main goal as an office has been to assist students in this transition phase, and to be realistic with our students, encouraging them to know why they are getting involved. This series of four blog posts serves as a guide to new and current students on the reasoning behind why they should get involved

It is extremely easy to just be involved on campus in student organizations. It is an entirely different experience to be meaningfully involved or committed to the student organizations a student is involved in. We see it each year when students join organizations by paying dues, getting a free t-shirt, a bumper sticker, etc. Membership swells for most of our organizations and there is a great deal of excitement on campus.

Then something interesting happens towards the middle of the semester. We begin hearing from organization presidents and advisors that involved membership is a problem for their student organizations and that no one is attending meetings or making time for the student organization they are a part of. The reasoning for not having time varies from busy with school work, stretched too thin between multiple organizations, general disinterest in the group (your interests will change in college) to dissatisfaction with group leadership. But at the core of this issue, is that there is not enough done to truly help students understand why it is important to be involved on campus, and why it is important for them to join a specific organization.

So, what can we do to better understand why you as students need to be involved and how we can be supportive of that involvement?

Check back next week for that answer.

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