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Steps towards campus involvement

Kyra Garabedian, Anchor Staff

Whether it is your first semester at Rhode Island College (RIC) or you are graduating in the spring, you have probably been encouraged to become involved on campus in one way or another. RIC has a wide variety of organizations and activities for students to explore. It just seems as though students are deterred from being involved in more activities than just going to class. 
During my first two years at RIC, I simply attended my classes and left campus. I never thought of joining a club or organization would be something for me because I was so busy. I didn’t enjoy spending free time on campus, so I never did. Now, I am part of three different organizations and have so many positive reasons to spend more time on campus. Most importantly, I have formed strong relationships with others I have similar interests with. This makes me feel like I’m not alone when I spend free time on campus.
Being a part of a club or organization can be an important way for students to meet others with similar interests. Especially with RIC being mostly a commuter school, this can be an important social aspect of college life for students. 
At the beginning of the semester, RIC holds an event during welcome week to allow students the opportunity to browse some of the student activities on campus. This is a great way for students to learn what they can be involved in, however, the only problem is the timing of this event. It takes students a few weeks to get used to their new schedules and settle into routine. The last thing they are thinking about is what extra elements they can add to their already busy schedules. 
If RIC were to hold more events like this throughout the semester, students would have more opportunity to explore their options. When students feel more comfortable with their new schedules they might feel motivated to try something new. 
Student organizations and clubs could decide to participate in such events where they could have a table set up with information. Students can browse the different options while they are passing through which can spark their interest. Just having students together promoting campus involvement can help express the benefits of student organizations. 
I’m not saying every student needs to join three clubs like I did. However, I do think it is important for college students to explore what is available to them. It might seem like a big commitment to join an organization at first, but it doesn’t hurt to take the first step.