Within your first minutes on campus, there’s a good chance some of the first words you will hear will be “get involved.” And they’re right. Getting involved is one of the quickest ways to have a more enjoyable college experience.
There are more than 250 registered student organizations (RSOs) to get involved in at Minnesota State University, Mankato. From Greek life to academics to sports, there is a multitude of clubs open to new members.
Caitlin Trabant is the vice president program coordinator for Maverick Involvement, a club aimed at helping connect students with RSOs. Trabant says she encourages students, especially incoming freshmen, to get involved with something as soon as possible.
“It allows students to meet new people and create these connections based on similar interests and goals which can be important in helping drive them,” said Trabant. “It is a perfect way to get connected with people.”
If students are looking for clubs to join, a new website called Involve U lists all the clubs offered at MNSU. Whether you are looking for a specific club or searching by interest, there is guaranteed to be a club right for you.
Involvement fairs hosted in Centennial Student Union are another way to find RSO that match your interests. They take place a few times each semester for students wanting to talk in person with members.
If a student cannot find a club they want to join, students are welcome to make their own. With a minimum of five members, a formal constitution, a secure advisor and the help of the Maverick Involvement team, the club can be added to the roster.
RSOs allow students to develop life skills while connecting with others at the same time. Emily Staeffler, vice president of operations at Tri-Sigma, was timid to meet others on campus. After joining Tri-Sigma freshman year, she has now found a group she calls “sisters,” and attends social events which help her break her out of her shell.
“When I went through formal recruitment, it really made me step out of my comfort zone and get to know other girls,” said Staeffler. “It gave me a really big support system.”
Consistency is key when joining a new club. The more meetings you attend, stronger connections will be formed. Pre-med club Vice President Jessica Wimp tries to spread meeting information around the school on posters and various social media platforms to get students involved.
“We know people struggle to get involved with things and that it’s not an easy route to get there,” said Wimp. “We meet every other week for about an hour and we have guest speakers come in and talk, ranging from physicians to people in their residency, which is helpful for people to see if that’s what they’re interested in.”
Whether students are trying to meet others or simply have fun, joining an RSO can get students on the right track.
“You have to put yourself out there and get connected and at the same time create these relationships that you will have not only through college, but the rest of your life,” said Trabant. “I think [joining a club] reflects the very best of MNSU.”