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Being Involved On Campus

So you’ve chosen to attend the University of Utah and live on campus. Now what? As a fellow student, I know that it can be hard to move to a new place without knowing anybody or being involved with the community. That’s why I keep myself involved in activities on campus! After moving to our campus community, it can be fun to start being involved with things that are happening around you. Students often find friends and passions through part-time jobs, clubs and activities, service opportunities and more, which can help you feel at home in college. The question is: where can you find these things? In the following, we will go over some things to get involved with on campus and how to find them.

Clubs & Activities

Did you know that there are more than 600 student organizations and clubs at the University of Utah? With a large number of out-of-state and international students, our community here at the U has so much to choose from! Students are commonly interested in outdoor activities, academic clubs, sports and more. This makes for a great opportunity to get involved with a club or two on campus. 

When I was first introduced to the U during my first semester, I was a student at the David Eccles School of Business. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to major in, so I thought about joining an academic club. From that point, I joined the Operations & Supply Chain club, which helped me find different speakers and activities that I could engage in to learn more about the Operations & Supply Chain major. This helped me realize that the business path wasn’t for me, though it would be a great option for others. Joining that club was also a great opportunity to meet other students and find out what common interests we had. 

Another way to get involved without being part of a club or organization is through various campus activities. Throughout the year, departments like HRE host activities for students to attend. Activities hosted by the Residence Hall Association (RHA) are fun, inclusive and educational, which helps to learn more about our community and make friends while doing so. Things like this are helpful to first-year and transfer students especially because you can easily find a community while in your first few weeks of being at the U. To find these activities, be sure to follow campus organizations on social media and tune in to your UMail for updates.

Service Opportunities

The University of Utah frequently provides service opportunities for both students and staff. There are several departments on campus that work towards finding and facilitating service activities. One of those is the Bennion Center, which offers many programs that students can participate in. To make it easier for students and campus residents to get involved with service, there is a Bennion Center service desk on the main floor of Kahlert Village. At the desk, students can find many different service opportunities and information about ways to help our community. This is a great way to get involved on campus and potentially earn some extra credit too.

Another way to find service activities is through the A. Ray Olpin Union building. As I have been following the Union social media pages, there have been many opportunities to help our community through activities that organizations within the Union have provided. For example, the Union Programming Council (UPC) has provided blanket kits for students to make blankets and donate them to the homeless community in Salt Lake City. They also remind students on social media to give non-perishables to the Feed U Food Pantry, which is a great way of helping our community here on campus. These are just two examples of the many service opportunities that students can be involved in. 

Part-time Job

Having a part-time job can be one of the best things to increase productivity. Jobs can also bring friends, a sense of community and some fun money. While you’re living on campus at the University of Utah, you may think that getting a part-time job will take up too much time and effort, especially when taking classes. This is not true because there are so many jobs to choose from that vary in effort, location and hours. In my experience, having a part-time job on campus has been the top contributor to finding friends, paying for school and increasing career skills that can be put on my resume. Students can find job opportunities in many different departments on campus.

When I first came to the U, I knew I wanted to be involved in the community. I already had a part-time job at a local clothing store, but this wasn’t exactly helping me toward my education. I also wanted to have a job that was closer to me as I lived on campus and didn’t own a car. I then talked to a few different people in order to find a job that was close. One of those was Jimmy Thren, a Resident Outreach Coordinator for HRE, who works to support residents with resources to help their situation. In my case, he helped by reaching out to a few organizations on campus to see about open job positions. One of those was an open position within HRE as an Outreach Housing Ambassador. I applied and got the job a few weeks later (and am still here!) Since being in this position, I’ve made friends, learned about resources on campus, made money to help pay for tuition and learned more about what the U has to offer. I also have a very short commute to work, which is always helpful when taking classes. Often, part-time jobs on campus are very accepting of student schedules and appreciate our effort for studying at the same time. 

As we’ve outlined some of the many opportunities to be involved on campus, you can see that it’s easy to find a community here at the U. Whether you find it through a student club or organization, doing service, having a part-time job or any other opportunity, there is a niche for you somewhere. As a student who loves to be involved on campus, I would recommend following the social media accounts of different organizations on campus. Specifically, follow the departments or clubs that interest you! As for our residential community, be sure to tune in to activities hosted by RHA and your residential building. HRE is here to support you as you find your home on campus.

Sydney Myers
Outreach Housing Ambassador