At MU, there are more than 600 student organizations, including stitching groups, clubs about Latin dance, Foosball, electric cars, soccer, motorcycles and much more.
"It is a great way to meet new people,” said Koleen Kay, a 19-year-old MU sophomore.
There are several different ways to join an organization. Some are faculty based, some are based on interests and hobbies and some center around commonalities.
Organizations range from niche themes to broader, more mainstream ones and sizes vary. All groups coordinated by the Organization Resource Group are run by students with a faculty member as an official adviser.
In the unlikely event that you don’t find the group you’re looking for when browsing the ORG database, it is possible to find at least nine other like-minded students and start your own.
Student organizations can receive funding for a variety of purposes and activities, all fit under specific categories outlined on the ORG website:
- General Expenses: For general resources, such as copies and miscellaneous supplies.
- Travel: For conferences, competitions, or events.
- Honorarium: For bringing guest speakers and performers to campus, or to request Venture Out funds.
Involvement in student groups not only helps build both social and academic skills, but vital professional skills are also gained, Alexander Astin of UCLA said.
“The greater the student’s involvement in college, the greater will be the amount of student learning and personal growth,” he said.
Studies conducted since have confirmed a link between student involvement and professional and academic success.
In the 2010 “Mizzou Involvement Guide,” Director of Student Life Mark Lucas wrote: “Employees hire students with good GPA’s, but they also want people who know how to work with others, who can think critically and have a record of involvement during college.”
Amanda Espey, a 20-year-old junior at MU, said she definitely recommends student involvement to freshman.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. She’s a member of Raptor Rehab, an organization run by the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.
Raptor Rehab members help in the rehabilitation of injured birds of prey as well as educating the public on their ecological importance and gathering new pertinent information.
Espey is an English and archaeology student, so she’s proof that you don’t have to be a student within a particular faculty if you’re keen on joining one of their groups.
Sophomore Dorothy Gill, 19, said she wishes she had been more involved in her freshman year. That’s why she’s planning to join MU Climbing Club this coming fall as she firmly believes in the benefits of student groups and organizations.
Depending on the organization, student groups usually meet once a week and engage in several team building activities.
There are also many perks involved within student organizations, such as free equipment rental though the ORG office for digital cameras and camcorders, use of the Student Design Center, free conference rooms and more.
Groups are open to every student. For information, call 573-882-2630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ORG office hours are generally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.