Being a member of a student organization enriches your time at the University of Oregon in many ways. The good friends and good times help transform what is sometimes a large overwhelming institution into a place you can call "home." Student organizations also give you opportunities to explore new interests, develop skills, enhance your academic program and have an impact on the University community. You may want to get involved, but with so many organizations on campus, you may wonder how to find the best group for you.
You've made a good start by beginning the investigation process here. We have helpful staff and lots of information to start you on your way. Our advice is to first consider: What's important to me?
Ask yourself some of these questions:
- What am I looking for in an organization?
- Do I primarily want to make new friends?
- Do I want to work on something I believe in?
- Do I want to explore something new?
- Should I be in a group that relates to my major or career choice?
- Do I want a real break from my academics?
- Shall I continue an interest from high school?
- Do I want to be of real service to the campus or community?
- Do I want to help make things happen?
- How much time do I have for an organization?
- Are there financial considerations?
- What Kind Of Groups Are There?
The University of Oregon is a "mixing bowl" of people, ideas and concerns. There are many organizations in each of the following categories:
- Service Programming
- Residence Halls/Co-ops
- Social Issues
How Do I Get More Information?
With over 300 student organizations at the University of Oregon, the ASUO offers a variety of outlets for students looking to get involved. For a list of these programs, download the ASUO Programs Guide from the official ASUO website.
Additional organizations available to assist you in finding a place to start can be found under the link for Campus Life on the main UO website.
How Do I Take The Plunge?
First of all, remember that most organizations are far more nervous about recruiting you, than you may be about joining them. They really do want new members and are very eager to answer your questions and explain their activities and purposes.
Make your choices intentional and well thought out! Many groups will want you to join them. However, you do not have to join every single group. All groups are different. Spend time meeting members and learning about as many members as possible.
Make sure the organization is right for you. Make sure the group will be a benefit to you and your presence will benefit the group.
Most groups have some type of "membership meeting" at the beginning of each term. These are open to any interested student. You're under no obligation to join the group if you attend - it's simply a chance for you to get more information and for the group to learn of your interest. If you miss a mass meeting or find out about a group during the year, call a contact person and ask when the next meeting is. If meeting times and programs are posted, you can always assume you're welcome. Of course, some organizations, such as honoraries, fraternities and sororities, have selected memberships so be sure to find out the particulars in these cases.
Once you've joined an organization, don't just sit back and wait for something to happen. Introduce yourself to people, ask questions, express ideas and be sure to volunteer your time and energy. You won't feel like a real member of a group until you're a contributing member.