Student involvement at K-State can be critical


K-State is home to more than 475 student organizations and clubs. The K-State Student Union is often populated with booths from different organizations at peak hours of student foot traffic, all offering different benefits and opportunities for K-State students.

During the fall semester, there is a fall activities carnival that’s meant to inform new and returning students about some of the campus organizations and how they can get involved.

Lauren Hower, senior in early
childhood education, said the reason why there are so many Wildcats involved on campus is because of K-State’s positive atmosphere.

“You’re accepted and embraced for who you are,” Hower said. “I think students may be willing to take more risks here, because they feel that sense of community and support from all of the students and staff.”

During the course of her college career, Hower has taken on leadership positions within different organizations including her sorority of Gamma Phi Beta, Early Childhood Student Association, College of Human Ecology College Council and serving as a College of Human Ecology ambassador.

“I never realized that the opportunities I got to take advantage of in college would actually lead to more opportunities after I graduated college,” Hower said. “The people you meet and the networks you create by being involved on campus are completely invaluable and will impact you far beyond your college years.”

Chance Berndt, senior in marketing, said he has had a similar experience. Last fall, Berndt was nominated by students and faculty to be an official 2013-14 K-State student ambassador along with Ava Clark, sophomore in industrial engineering.

As K-State ambassadors, both Berndt and Clark have the opportunity to travel around the nation and represent the entire K-State community. Berndt said his love for K-State is what motivates him to become involved in campus.

“I wanted to find a way to give back to the university I love so much,” Berndt said. “I’ve also tried to find roles that lead me to growth, both in my professional and personal lives.”

Since his freshman year, Berndt has been involved in various organizations at K-State. Along with being a K-State Ambassador, Berndt has been a Wildcat Warm-up counselor, been a part of the Soaring with Eagles advisory board, Student Alumni Board, Student Government Association, Chimes Junior Honorary and Theta Xi fraternity. Berndt is also a Introduction to Leadership Concepts small group instructor.

“I don’t know the type of person I would be today if I would not have had the constant positive influence of the School of Leadership Studies,” Berndt said. “Having a leadership class has always been a welcome oasis in the middle of a busy semester. My views are always tested, I am challenged on who I am and what I want to be, and how I’ll get to be that person.”

Katie VanDever, freshmen in communication studies, said she also credits her leadership studies minor in helping her get involved on campus.

“The leadership minor helps me, because I am learning about the theory behind leadership, and it helps me connect with other leaders in campus,” VanDever said.

This summer, VanDever will have an opportunity to become a Wildcat Warm-Up counselor.

“I am looking forward to seeing new students experience the K-State family for the first time,” VanDever said. “They are going to get a glimpse of what being a Wildcat is all about, and I am very excited.”

Berndt said he believes that there will always be a strong constant campus involvement from students.

“With more than 475 clubs and organizations at K-State, there’s always some sort of club or organization that will grab you, and lead you to want to do more with it,” Berndt said. “At a larger university like ours, I believe people are constantly looking for reasons to continue to differentiate themselves from the crowd, and involvement is a way of doing that.”