The Women of K-State held their second brown bag lunch in the K-State Student Union’s Flint Hills Room on Wednesday. This week’s topic was “Involvement in Campus Activities.” The gathering began around 11:30 a.m. and gave the attending women a chance to visit with other women who could assist them in looking for ways to be involved on campus and provide information about various organizations and opportunities, including women’s groups on campus.
The event’s topic centered around involvement in campus activities, but covered a wide variety of other topics that addressed service opportunities to promote both personal and professional enrichment and ways to more effectively network.
“I feel like I need to get involved in something that can build my resume and help me build some beneficial connections,” said Whitney Glenn, junior in human resources.
From the moment students become a part of the K-State family, they are bombarded with a list of over 450 student organizations. This can be overwhelming as they are already juggling many commitments and responsibilities in their daily lives. It can often be a challenge to know who to contact and how exactly to get started.
“If you can’t find something within your area of study, at the very least you should consider getting involved in some kind of business organization,” said Gayle Spencer, associate dean of student life and director of student activities and services. “Make an effort to get the emails and publications of that organization, attend meetings and voice your interest in the organization.”
Spencer said faculty is generally more than willing and interested in helping to advise student groups. They want to give their time and see their students succeed.
Natalie Rauth, senior in mass communications and marketing and speaker of the Student Senate, said in her personal experience, the best way to get involved is to either visit with the Office of Student and Activity Services or the booths representing student groups in the K-State Student Union. By not being afraid to ask questions and seeking out opportunities that coincide with individual interests and hobbies, students will realize how many doors can be opened.
“Because of what I’m involved in, I believe I am prepared for the real world. I have learned exponentially more through student organizations than I have in the classroom,” Rauth said.
The panel of speakers stressed that by taking the initiative and making the effort to apply oneself outside of academics, students reap the benefits of better time management and priority setting skills and can learn to better take advantage of the people and resources around them. This kind of networking can often result in internships and jobs.
In addition to talk of honorary societies, clubs, sororities and student government, Trisha Gott, program assistant and instructor for the School of Leadership Studies, contributed a unique perspective on involvement when she mentioned the opportunities available at the Leadership Studies building on campus.
“Many people misinterpret what this building is for. It’s actually designed not just for academic purposes, but to help connect you to service learning and engage students in volunteer based activities on campus and in local communities,” Gott said.
Gott described a program called HandsOn Kansas State, which is a network of volunteers that most recently helped with the clean up after last year’s Fake Patty’s Day in Aggieville. She also discussed “Weekend Breaks,” which include projects like working to collect reading materials to be donated to Ethiopia.
“Kansas State women have such an energetic and diverse population and the more people we can involve, the more diversity of ideas and strengths we can gain,” said K-State first lady Noel Schulz. “Our goal is to provide interesting and beneficial programs that appeal to everyone looking to take the initiative to make the most out of their time here.”