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Student organizations can help build friendships

April 29, 2015

If you think student organizations were a waste of time or just a fun diversion while at school you are incorrect, they do much more for UW-River Falls students.

There are articles, stories, statistics and academic journals detailing the merits of belonging to a student organization while in college. The facts are in and Daniel Rivera, academic advisor at UWRF, says he agrees with them. Student organizations actually help students perform better academically.

“Part of it is developing that sense of connection here on campus. We know students are here, they want to get an education, they want to learn, but you also want them to grow beyond that academic focus,” Rivera said. “We want to make sure they are exploring their options in the world and making sure they have the opportunity to talk to students who have the same interests–that want and desire to make sure I excel academically so I can be here, continue to contribute to the organization I am part of.”

Rivera went on to say it helps students feel like they’re part of the larger community. There is a sense of belonging, being with others who might share your interest. He said students benefit from being with others like themselves.

There is something for everyone with about 150 student organizations on campus according to FalconSync. Be sure to spread the word, joining a student organization can make your college experience much better and help academically as well.

Allison Parsons, involvement specialist for Student Life, explained some advantages of joining a student organization.

“I think that they get to start networking, that’s a big thing, they get to meet people from our community and most organizations also bring in speakers or other big companies for students–practice for the real world,” Parsons said.

Student organizations look good on a resume, skills learned in a group can be skills used after graduation. Finding a passion, strength or maybe just fitting in. Joining gives a new student instant friends and acquaintances, making homesickness less painful.

Joining a campus organization can be a confidence builder as well. Your group members often have your back whether it is for personal issues or help with a class.

Also, most all student organizations raise money for charities or gather donations at a variety of events throughout the semester. Many organizations are also community involved, helping with local issues.

“Student-to-student interaction has the strongest positive effects on leadership development, overall academic development, and self-reported growth in problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills and cultural awareness,” said Alexander Astin, author of “What Matters in College.”

Students are encouraged at UWRF to get involved and take advantage of resources and events available to them. Many opportunities for involvement and service are unique college experiences with each student organization.

Be sure to attend the fall semester Involvement Fair. In the meantime, browse the many organizations on FalconSync or investigate options at the student involvement desk in the University Center.