Office for Student Involvement discusses opportunities, student orgs at virtual event

Lauren Reid, Staff Reporter

The Office for Student Involvement (OSI) hosted a “How to get involved at OU” event on Friday, Sept. 4. via Google Meet. A wide variety of involvement opportunities and upcoming activities were covered

including student organizations, leadership development, volunteer opportunities, among others. 

The event kicked off with a look into student organizations, presented by student leadership consultant Micah Dymond.

“We have over 300 student organizations on campus, ranging from academic, club sports, faith based, multicultural, performing, recreation, social, social awareness and service,” Dymond said. “All of these are [available] as students here at OU.” 

Leadership consultant Kimi Ramus continued into the discussion of leadership development opportunities. 

“Through our leadership and volunteer center, students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development programs that help [them] gain knowledge and experience,” Ramus said. 

Ramus encourages students looking into leadership programs to check out the Emerging Leaders program, which allows participants to discover their leadership abilities and begin networking. 

As far as activities, OSI Senior Director Jean Ann Miller dove into a wide range of upcoming events, whether in person (with safety precautions), outdoors or virtual. Welcome Week is in progress until Friday, Sept. 11. 

“Our programming is going to be some in person, mostly outdoors and a lot of virtual opportunities,” Miller said. “We want to make sure [students] have the best college experience possible and get involved with the activities that we offer.” 

Upcoming events include a virtual Grizzfest (Sept. 10), a Black Lives Matter march (Sept. 12), the start of Thursday night mainstage performances, among others. 

Homecoming plans are in place for the end of October — with a live Nicole Byer comedy show — as mentioned by Miller.  

“[Overall], lots of things will be happening and we really encourage [students] to participate so [they] get connected and have fun on campus,” Miller said.

To conclude the event, Jeremy Heinlein, coordinator of leadership and service programs, discussed the positive impact of involvement. 

“Students that get involved, whether it be with a program, student organization, honors college, are statistically more likely to graduate in 4-5 years than students who are just [attending] classes,” Heinlein said. “In addition, [these students] are building community. [They] can start networking with people who have similar likes, interests and passions and begin building a support system.” 

Heinlein also mentioned that all student organizations, programs and events are committed to diversity and inclusion. 

“We want to ensure, no matter [someone’s] race, background, religion, they are welcomed and celebrated at all events and programs,” Heinlein said. 

Additionally, campus involvement contributes positively toward mental health.

“College is already a stressful time for everyone and with an ongoing pandemic, it’s even more stressful,” Heinlein said. “By getting involved, [students] can build that support system to help them through the tough times and the exciting and happy times they’ll have here at OU.” 

To learn more about involvement opportunities, visit the OSI homepage and to browse opportunities and organizations, visit GrizzOrgs.