Sep 082004
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Whether students are focused on hip-hop, religion, politics or biology, they can probably find a niche in one of the more than 300 student organizations that exist at CSU.

Last week a variety of student organizations populated the Lory Student Center Plaza for Centertainment.

With the vast array of organizations, there are also a variety of reasons that students join an organization, though one motive is fairly common.

“(Student organizations) are important because they get students involved and make them feel wanted,” said Kayla Brummett, a junior English major. “It’s a home away from your home away from home.”

Brummett is the president of Hillel, the CSU chapter of a national Jewish student organization.

In addition to student organizations helping people establish a friendship base, Brummett said that they also provide planned activities throughout the year. High holiday activities, visits to the corn maze and working on a stronger bond with the Fort Collins synagogue are a few things in the works for Hillel, Brummett said.

The CSU Shotgun Sports Club is a student organization that is experiencing a membership increase.

“We had 45 last year and 80-some in our meeting last night,” said Laura Parker, the president of the women’s varsity shotgun team. “Four years ago there were eight people.”

While the club members work on their shooting skills together weekly, they do other things as well.

“A lot of my friends are on the team,” said Parker, a sophomore studying agricultural business. “Sometimes we just go out to the Sundance (Steak House & Saloon, 2716 E Mulberry) together. This fall we are doing an intramural softball team.”

Student organizations are not limited to non-academic interests. Many students join organizations that fit their major.

Brandy Eldridge, the president of Psychology Student Alliance, said the connections she has made through the student organization have helped her in her classes as a senior psychology major.

“I’ve met a lot of professors who helped me with a lot of things maybe I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise,” Eldridge said.

The Student Organizations Office in the basement of the Lory Student Center has information on how to get involved in any student organization. They keep track of all the student organizations in existence and help the organizations in any way they need.

“Our office is here to support student organizations to help them be successful,” said Pam Sampson, the assistant director for student involvement. “We provide people, not money, to help them get going.”

There are new organizations every year, so there is always a way for students to get involved.

“There are 10 to 12 brand-new groups a year,” Sampson said. “A lot of them are time-sensitive so we will probably have a few political groups with it being an election year.”

Sampson said there are many reasons students should join an organization.

“Generally speaking there’s a student organization for everyone,” Sampson said. “It works on building a social network and helps them with school. It’s about having fun too. You need to have an outlet.”

Sampson said school performance is affected by how much a student is involved.

“Students who get involved outside of class get better grades and you are more likely to be retained and return because you have people expecting you to return.”

A busy schedule means students will have to budget their time more, since free time leads to procrastination.

“If they have a lot of free time they put it off then cram, cram, cram,” Sampson said. “If you’re busy, you schedule time to study.”

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