An estimate of 80 recognized student organizations across campus, as well as additional academic societies, athletic teams, intramurals and miscellaneous programs could all be seen as they welcomed potential new members at the Student Involvement Fair on Thursday, Sept.7.
Director of Student Involvement Jennifer Ferrell said she encourages all students to do more than just get up, eat, go to class, sleep and repeat. That, she said, is the purpose of her department and of the fair itself.
“It’s certainly a lot more engaging and fun to build a network of folks who can support you in lots of different ways,” Ferrell said.
KSC junior and Habitat for Humanity member Jordan Clauson said she loves the network she’s established these last few years. She expressed how she changed from being an overwhelmed first-year to the active student she is today. She said she feels that being involved in the organization makes her a greater member of the college and the community.
Clauson said she views herself and the other Habitat for Humanity members as “a family now,” adding that everyone should find something to get involved with on campus because it can help them “get out of their comfort zone…meet people, become a part of something bigger than just going to school for [their] education [and prepare them] for what’s to come after school’s over.”
Ferrell said, “You never know what kind of doors will be opened to you by getting involved in different things.” She offered examples of going on an Alternative Break trip to a part of the country you didn’t know much about, only to decide you want to live there after college, or even volunteering with a community partner through the college and, in turn, gaining an internship position later on.
However, making a commitment to a club can still seem intimidating for some. Questions and concerns can sometimes push even the most conspicuous opportunities off of the stage.
Like many other first-year students, nursing major Dylan Fitch said he was worried that if he signed up for too much, he wouldn’t be able to dedicate as much time to his class work as he needs to.
Fortunately, expressing interest in an organization doesn’t mean you have to sign every moment of the next four years of your life away.
Ferrell described involvement as being “completely flexible and fluid,” meaning that it’s perfectly acceptable to attend a couple meetings, decide you’re not that interested and check out something else. Ferrell explained that it’s never too late to get involved, no matter how long you’ve been a student or how late in the school year it is, you can always benefit from being an active member of the college and of Keene.
Ferrell said, “[Involvement] opens up students’ eyes to new challenges: different things, different people, different ways of thinking and doing things. It really enriches their time here.”
That’s what Keene State College wants to promote.
Kalila Brooks can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org