Your students have a semester of classes under their belts now. Presumably they understand better what it takes to manage their lives, schoolwork, and outside interests. Now that they have a good feel for life at Wake Forest, they might want to begin exploring additional ways to be involved on campus.
The division of Campus Life offers many outlets for student involvement. Their web site is a wonderful resource that students can explore. Here are just a few thoughts on places your student might want to investigate .
Student Organizations – there are 150+ student organizations on campus, representing an enormous variety of interests. Your student can search the organizations that currently exist – or even look to charter a new one.
Student Union – Student Union sponsors committees that plan events and activities on campus. They are always looking for volunteers, so your students can browse the various committees and contact the appropriate chair or committee for information on how to get involved.
Service and Social Action – this branch of Campus Life helps students who wish to volunteer (on campus or in the larger community), or students who want to be involved in issues of social justice. There are some terrific service projects and programs that allow students to meet around a common interest or goal.
Philanthropy – Wake Forest is famous for some of its student-led philanthropic endeavors such as Hit the Bricks and Wake n’ Shake. Just as with Service and Social Action, students might feel especially good about getting involved in an activity that gives back in a tangible way to others.
Leadership programs – there are a number of great leadership programs available to students. Many (if not all) of these require an application process, so students need to be mindful the idea of supply and demand.
Those are some starting places for students to look for activities and involvement. There are other ways students can be involved in campus life too.
Does your student have a particular faith tradition? Or does he or she want to explore one or more? There are many religious student organizations that students can opt in to (or visit) as they see fit.
This year, Wake Forest introduced a Faculty Fellows program, where faculty and administrators are paired with residence halls so they can meet students, encourage conversation and attendance at events, and more. The Faculty Fellows are some of our best teachers and mentors. Students should consider talking to their Fellow about ways get involved in residence hall events the Fellows are sponsoring. The “Southforest” web site has more information.
The Z Smith Reynolds Library isn’t just a place to study (or get Starbucks) – there are also a number of events hosted throughout the year. Humans vs. Zombies is a fun way to spend an evening using Nerf guns to try and shoot students and staff made up as zombies. There are also lectures and other events listed on their events page.
There are other groups that can be joined – more by tryouts and applications. Musical performance groups, theatre productions, and such. Those organizations typically post flyers or have information around campus about when and how to apply.
Finally, one of the best ways to meet new people and to get involved is to attend events on campus and talk to fellow students there. If your student is interested in the arts, he or she should go to artistic events and chat to other people there – they might have a lot in common and can develop friendships. Same thing goes for academic lectures, athletic events, etc.
Urge your students to try something new. There are so many ways to get involved – the students just have to take the first step.