If this sounds like an advertisement for student organizations, well, that's because it sort of is. I'm not writing it for their benefit, though – I'm writing it for yours. As we were leaving for break, something encouraging happened here at Geneseo. The student referendum passed. Roughly 1,600 students voted, and those who did vote were overwhelmingly in support of the mandatory student activity fee. But what's surprising is that only a third of all Geneseo students voted at all. I could talk about laziness, or about publicity for the vote or even about the labyrinthine nature of KnightWeb surveys, but I won't.
What I want to say is that the Student Association is a resource too often untapped that provides entertainment, engagement, competition and simple enjoyment for every student at this school.
It has been stated here in The Lamron before, but your student activity fee funds nearly everything exciting on campus. The fees are subsidizing the Ke$ha concert this weekend, supporting every club sport and partially funding The Lamron itself as well as dozens of other worthy organizations.
A complaint sometimes heard is that students don't want to pay for others' clubs or groups, but what is holding anyone back? Go out and join them! If we're only talking about money, you'll make it back just by joining a few groups, attending a concert or two, going to a residence hall event or even starting your own club. I could use up all of my breath (and all of the Lamron's budget for ink) by listing everything under the beneficence of SA.
Studies have shown that students who actively participate in organizations like clubs or groups get better grades. It's also been shown that they are generally happier with their college experience as a whole. Membership and leadership roles in student-run organizations are also résumé boosters after you graduate.
All of these reasons for taking advantage of student-funded organization are fine and dandy, but the biggest one is more obvious: The teams, events and clubs that SA funds are fun! Whether it's a weekend-long convention in Washington, D.C., a club sports team that competes at the state level or Relay for Life, get out there and get involved in something!
Ten years from now, we're not going to remember browsing Facebook in our residence halls, the details from our class notes or watching TV. What we will likely remember are the experiences we shared with other students and friends. Student organizations aren't the only way to create those memories, but they're certainly part of the equation. The distance between your room and the class buildings may not seem like that long, but there's a lot going on in that space that can be yours for the taking.