The University Of Idaho Department of Student Involvement is responsible for all student involvement opportunities on campus. It helps fund ASUI, student media, the volunteer center, student organizations and leadership programs.
Colleen Quinn, director of student involvement, said in the current fiscal year each UI student paid $88.25 toward general ASUI funds. This money pays for staff salaries, student media, student organizations, Vandal Entertainment and almost every event that takes place on campus.
She said it is important for every student to get involved on campus.
“Research shows that when students are involved and actually engaged on campus, they are more likely to graduate, get better grades and have an overall better college experience,” Quinn said.
There are more than 2,000 students involved in 200 student organizations on campus. The student organizations range from groups such as Humans vs. Zombies to pre-professional groups such as Mock Trial, a group that argues cases in front of a judge, Quinn said.
Quinn said students who take advantage of student organizations build great resumes. She said student organizations are a great way for students to learn skills that cannot be obtained in a traditional classroom.
Elena Harrington, president of the UI Public Relations Club, said the club has given her hands-on experience and has allowed her to become further engaged in UI and the School of Journalism and Mass Media. She said it also has helped her grow and develop as a leader.
Quinn was recently in Boise and said she ran into two former ASUI student body presidents. She said the former presidents told her they obtained their current jobs because of their experience working in student organizations and involvement on campus.
One of the largest student organizations is ASUI, which deals a lot with student involvement on campus.
Hannah Davis, ASUI president, said ASUI has been one of the most important aspects of her entire college experience.
“So many opportunities have been made available for me through the organization, and I have met so many people who have been a huge influence on my academic career and my life’s aspirations,” Davis said.
Davis said being involved is important because being a part of an organization helps people grow and it provides a way for students to learn important life skills.
Davis has been involved in ASUI since she was a freshman at UI. She said getting involved is important and the only reason someone should not get involved is if they have to focus all their attention on academics.
Of the $88.25 that every student pays in student activity fees, $15 goes toward ASUI Vandal Entertainment’s $205,000 annual budget, said Taylor Williams, board chair of Vandal Entertainment.
This semester ASUI Vandal Entertainment organized free acts including K-Von, an up and coming comedian, and bands including “OK Sweetheart” to UI, Williams said.
UI sophomore Riker Weires said he has never participated in student activities or events because he was unaware there were free events happening on campus.
Williams said the best way to keep updated on events and activities on campus, is to like the ASUI Vandal Entertainment’s Facebook page.
Dean of Students Bruce Pitman said research shows students who are engaged in at least one activity outside of the classroom are happier and more satisfied with their education than students who do not.
He said participating in student organizations can enrich a college career and help graduates land the job instead of other people.
“We have a lot of evidence that students often refine and define their leadership skills in a number of these campus activities,” Pitman said.
He said the skills students learn in these organizations tend to be what lands the UI graduate a good job.
Pitman did his graduate work at UI, but for his undergraduate education he attended Purdue University. While at Purdue, he said he was an active member of his fraternity and also worked in the Purdue Student Union — an organization he said is equivalent to UI’s ASUI.
He said being involved with the Purdue Student Union helped him meet a lot of new people, including his wife.
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