Editorial: What will yOU do?

The+Oakland+Post

The Oakland Post

By Oona Goodin-Smith

As P1 parking spaces becomes as rare as a short Subway line and the bookstore is mobbed by last-minute purchases, the fall semester has descended on Oakland University, bringing with it another crop of eager freshmen crowding campus maps, new buildings to be lost in, and, of course, everyone’s favorite: the push for student involvement.

On Tuesday, September 2, cries of “Sweet, free stuff!” echoed through the Involvement Fair tent as nearly 2,700 new students assessed OU’s 280 student clubs and organizations, signing up for mailing lists and learning about the school’s student groups.

While the event served as a prime opportunity to acquire a complimentary t-shirt or the ever-popular free fanny pack, we at The Oakland Post would like to encourage all students, new and returning, to take the free Frisbee a step further and take the time to learn more and become involved with student organizations on campus.

On a campus where 84 percent of students commute to school, it is no secret that university engagement can be difficult. Many students’ schedules are stacked with work, internships, and outside commitments, oftentimes putting additional trips to school for university involvement on the back burner, if on the stove at all.

However, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), “student success is directly related to student involvement…Students who are involved devote more time and energy to academics, spend more time on campus, while participating actively in student organizations, and having more positive interactions with faculty and staff.”

According to the NSSE, not only does involvement in student activity enhance academic performance, but it has also been shown to improve students’ social lives and connections to their campus. After all, who doesn’t want to spend time with new friends found through the common interest of a club or sport?

Improved campus connection and social life creates a culture of campus pride and loyalty, and, according to the NSSE, “it is vital foran institution to create a culture, not just a campus.”

Newly-appointed President George Hynd agrees. “One thing that I think is really critical in helping students, particularly on a commuter campus, to understand, it this is their new community,” he told the Post last week. “Anything that we’re doing on campus to create a sense of identity and loyalty is a good thing.”

While, as a student organization ourselves we may be a bit biased, we at The Oakland Post have also been in the shoes of the uninvolved. Try clubs, attend meetings, join a team. The worst that can happen is that you find something you do not like, in which case, maybe you discover something new about yourself, because in the end, isn’t that what college is all about?

The ball of campus involvement is in your hands, OU. Why not take the shot?