Campus Engagement: A How-To Guide
It is a known fact amongst college and university administrators that engagement in the campus community leads to better grades and more college success, since students that are actively involved in the campus community tend to be happier within themselves as well as happier and more positive about their college choice. Campus involvement can take many forms, such as clubs and organizations, fraternities or sororities, intramural and intercollegiate sports, music ensembles, and student government. Of course, campus engagement is about more than just grades and happiness.
Students who get involved with campus activities experience many benefits. First off, you’ll be meeting people with similar interests, regardless of major. You’ll also be able to discover and explore new activities or areas of interest. You’ll meet many new people, diversifying your experience on campus and helping you build a strong network of friends. In the process, you’ll be gaining interpersonal communication skills, which are important for your life as well as your resume. And it’ll help you find your place on the campus. On a campus of near 11,000 students, that’s very important.
At last glance, the University of Maine has over 200 active clubs and organizations. These range from the Sustainable Agriculture Enthusiasts to the Paranormal Investigation Club to Alpine Ski Club. Virtually any topic you can think of has a home in a club or organization here on campus. There are a few different ways to get a club’s contact information. The student government website contains complete list of recognized clubs, which contains names and emails. We keep a hard copy of that list on file in the Advising Center. Many clubs put up fliers around campus, especially in the Memorial Union, that contain contact information. There is also a FirstClass folder that contains all of the club folders. To get there, open the Student Resources folder on your FC desktop, then open UMaine Community, then Group & Organizations, then UMaine Student Organizations, and then finally, UM Student Groups. You’ll see the FC folder for every club on campus. Feel free to peruse the messages and find out about the club before you get involved.
Many students find involvement in sports beneficial for both mind and body. There are a number of clubs that are sports related and the list can be found here. Campus Recreation also hosts many intramural sporting events throughout the year, with a complete list found here. If you’re interested in getting involved in intercollegiate sports, check out the UMaine Athletics website for more information.
Student government is another excellent way to get involved on campus. In addition to meeting new people from all majors and colleges, you will gain valuable leadership and decision-making skills as well as how to work in a group setting. On their website, you can find out the current officers plus how to get involved.
There are a number of different musical ensembles that students can participate in. These include chamber music, bands, choir, jazz, opera, and the University Orchestra. Though these are run through the School of Performing Arts, students from all majors and colleges are encouraged to participate.
Most students who get involved in campus activities find that it makes their college experience richer and more fulfilling. Though they are busier, their grades increase and their happiness level goes up. We here at the CLAS Advising Center strongly urge each and every student to look at all the opportunities and get involved. Go out and have fun!