By Joce DeWitt

One of the most commonly asked questions from prospective OSU students is how one student, just one in a now 25,000-strong student population, can possibly get involved and make a difference on campus. Allow me to divulge my knowledge.

First, on behalf of all the ambassadors and advisors of the College of Liberal Arts, I would like to take this opportunity to strongly urge, nay, beg you to get involved during your years here at Oregon State University.  I’ll even go one step further in saying that you should do so immediately upon your arrival on campus. The benefits will not only be obvious once you immerse yourself, but later on down the winding road of life when you are applying for jobs and mapping out your career.

Speaking from experience, I think it is safe to say that there are more ways to get involved as a new student on campus than anyone can count. Therefore, the benefits that result are also immeasurable. My point is that “student involvement,” though a term that has become rather cliché over the years (think of your high school’s student body president campaigning for election because of how “involved” she was…) is not a concept that should be compartmentalized or marginalized on a campus as vast as that of OSU. I speak the truth when I guarantee that there is literally an outlet for every student here, whether it be recreational (anime club, sports club, Intermural sports leagues, etc.), academic (comm club, engineers without borders, Spanish club, etc.), paid campus positions (student media, academic departmental positions, MUPC event staff, etc.), and whatever else anyone can think of.

I suppose one of the best ways to provide evidence to my claims that there is an overabundance in involvement outlets on campus is by sharing my personal story.

As a freshman, brand new and wide-eyed to campus in the New Media Communications program, I enrolled in NMC 101 and was encouraged the first day to become a part of student media. From that very class, I marched myself to Snell Hall, home of all student media, and told them I wanted to write for the paper. With no questions on my lack of journalism experience or even what year I was, they told me they’d train me and get me published. Bam. Just like that.

Ever since that first experience, I have been involved with student media in one way or another. I worked myself up from freshman newbie columnist to News Editor, or the girl who gets to decide what our campus sees on the front page of the paper every single morning. I assign the stories, I hire and train the reporters, and I am the go-to person for story ideas and coverage. I also worked for KBVR TV on the Beaver Sports Show for a year. But even apart from experiences in student media, I held a campus job in one of the dining centers for two years and played on multiple IM sports teams.

Needless to say, I have already begun reaping the benefits of my hyper involvement, and I haven’t even graduated yet. Because of my work at the Barometer and KBVR, I scored a summer internship with The Keizer Times, where I learned the news-writing foundations I now put to daily use.

Getting involved as a student will guarantee one of the following: you meet a ton of amazing people and establish networks you never even knew existed, you have a ton of fun doing the things you love while making a difference as a contributing member of the community, you build your resume to impress the pants off of future employers, or you learn a lot about yourself (characteristic short-comings and marvels alike) in the process. Take your pick. I promise you will not make the wrong choice.


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