Friday, July 13, 2012

Pounce Into Involvement

In high school I was the kid that tried to do it all; from drama to sports, with a few things in between... all while working my part time job. When I first arrived to UWM, I was exited to see all the opportunities to get involved. However, I got caught up in just sticking with the small group of friends I made.  Because they didn't get involved I didn't. Sounds kind of dumb of me, I know. People ask, "If you can go back and change one thing about college what would it be?" I would probably have to say that I wished I have gotten more involved my first year. I missed out on some great opportunities, like a free trip to Arizona and a trip to go rock climbing. There are so many opportunities to get involved in and out of housing; you just have to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.

If you are wondering why you should get involved I could go on and on, but a few reasons are that it's one of the easiest and best ways for you to meet people and network. It provides you with life skills outside the classroom and looks great on a resume. It allows you to participate in leadership opportunities and explore your interests. Not to mention, free things like t-shirts and food you can get! Most of all, the most valuable thing you will gain is the priceless memories you will have.  The people you meet can become some of your best friends.  I know it is for me that was the best thing about it for me!

In University Housing, there are several great organizations to get involved in! If you are interested in something similar to student council in high school, we have our Student Housing Administrative Council or SHAC. They plan several great events and work toward making the residence halls meet the needs and wants of students like you! Through SHAC, there are several community councils broken down by where you live. Each Community Council  provide students with the opportunity to get create their college experience in their specific community! These councils are looking for students just like you to get involved!

Are you wondering which community council you belong in?
Do you live in North or West Tower? Check out NorthWest CC
Do you live in South or East Tower or Purin Hall? Check out South East Purin CC
Do you live in RiverView and Cambridge? Check out the South End CC

Community Councils and SHAC are not your only opportunities to get involved in the residence halls. If you are interested in making our halls a much more environmentally friendly facility, you can join the Sustainability Committee and work to plan events and create initiatives for our communities to go GREEN!

There is also the Community Review Board (CRB) which is a student panel who helps make decisions on behavior and policy violations. It is a great way to connect with professional staff and work as part of a peer group.

If you were involved in National Honorary Society in high school, after your first year in the residence hall you have the opportunity to join the top 1% of student leaders in the residence halls: National Residence Hall Honorary or NRHH. This organization focuses on providing leadership and service opportunities while recognizing those who do great things in the residence halls, all while maintaining the value that everyone came here to be a student first! 

If you are looking for some simple ways to get involved outside of these options within the residence halls, there are countless events. These events are held by your Resident Assistant in your community. Take advantage of these events and what they have to offer. Offer to help out planning an event or give feed back on what you would like to see done. In a lot of cases we can make it happen!

Don't forget about all the other organizations you have on campus, getting involved truly is your key to success beyond your academics.  Find what interest you and go for it! You can always check out the Center for Student Involvement for a list of student orgs on campus!

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