I think that getting involved on campus is the most important part of your college journey. It’s so important to find a community that you belong to, to find friends you’ll stick with for the four years of college (or more), and to feel that you’re an important part of the University of Utah. Students often feel like it’s impossible to get involved because the people who are involved seem SO involved, but it’s possible for everyone! People want to be around other people who are passionate about things. It doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about, or even if you pretend at first. Check out the organizations below that can kickstart your involvement on campus.
Talk to your RA!
Your RA is a student leader who has met other Resident Advisors, so they probably know people all over campus who are connected to lots of different student organizations. RAs are an excellent and easy resource to use for advice on getting involved.
Residence Hall Association:
The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is sort of like a student government for students who live on campus. They put on events, have an office in the PHC that students are welcome to visit for snacks and games, and they offer leadership positions to students who want to be involved on campus. RHA typically hires new board directors at the end of spring semester or beginning of summer semester. Check our Get Involved page to learn more!
Social Justice Advocates:
Social Justice Advocates (SJAs) are students who work to build a community for students who are underrepresented at the U. That can include students from different racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds, LGBTQIA students, first-generation college students, etc. SJAs host Equity Lounge hours and will also hold hours in the Equity Living Room in Kahlert Village! SJA lounges are safe spaces for all students to come relax, study, and socialize. SJAs also conduct community-building events and reach out to students! Go to our Get Involved page to learn more.
The Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) is the student body government for all students at the U. Student government seems like something for students who do well in school, are super popular, and who fit in with a specific group, but that’s not at all what ASUU is. For sure, the people in ASUU are passionate and know lots of people, but that’s often because of their involvement. Many students weren’t that way before they got involved. The minimum GPA to be in ASUU is a 2.5, which is well below the average GPA of U of U students. There are boards with specific focuses where you can meet people without signing up for a ton of extra work. You can go to events, just hang out in the ASUU office in the Union, or you can apply for a stipended position or run for office. For first-year students, First Year Council is the place to start (in my opinion). Click Here to find out more!
Recognized Student Organizations:
There are about 600 Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) at the U. These are student groups that have applied for funding from ASUU, so they have money to host events, pay for food, and sometimes even travel. Campus Connect is a new website that acts as a database of RSOs. You can filter your search results by what type of RSO you want to find (academic, advocacy, affiliated organization, or arts/entertainment) and browse the many groups you may be interested in. If there’s something you think we need at the U, you can even create an RSO yourself! There are also plenty of organizations to find that are based on your major, so that’s a super quick and easy way to meet people with similar interests to you.
The U has some excellent greek life that you can get involved with. Sororities and fraternities usually recruit new students of all ages at the beginning of each semester. The greek life center at the U is in the Union Building in the Student Involvement wing. Click Here to learn more about greek life at the U of U.
We have partnerships with some awesome organizations that have offices on campus. Those include the Hinckley Institute of Politics, the Bennion Center, and the Daily Utah Chronicle. The Hinckley Institute helps students access internships in Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., and abroad for students of all majors. The Bennion Center conducts alternative breaks for students who want to do service across the United States and abroad during their fall, winter, and spring breaks. The Daily Utah Chronicle is a student-run newspaper at the U where you can write about lots of topics that interest you. Involvement with organizations like these can introduce you to students from all over campus!
On-Campus Jobs and Internships:
Student leaders are employed all across campus in a variety of ways. Each major usually has a group of student ambassadors who are paid to teach others about their major, so that’s a quick and easy way to connect with students in your major AND get paid! Other internships are available with many organizations and programs; a quick google will help you find those resources. Student jobs are also available throughout the year at the Marriott Library, in the HRE office, at many building front desk areas, and more!
If you’re really struggling to feel involved, the U even has Involvement Ambassadors who conduct one-on-one consultations and group presentations to help students find ways to get involved on campus. Click Here to learn more and schedule an appointment with an Involvement Ambassador!