RU Connection: Getting involved: A rundown


Whether you live on campus, off campus or commute, getting involved is one of the most important things you can do at Rutgers -- but it can also be confusing as a new student.

Rutgers offers more than 500 student clubs and organizations, and over 100 intramural and sports teams, offering a wide range of choices for those on the Banks. 

From student politics to on-campus news organizations, student activist groups, video game clubs -- even a Quidditch team -- Rutgers has it all.

Most student organizations do meet late at night, which can be particularly difficult for a commuter, but it is well worth making the time to get yourself involved and making new friends.

If you are looking to get involved, here's some things to know.

What's the best way to look for organizations to join?

There are multiple ways to search for whatever clubs or organizations fit you best.

First, check out different websites, like involvement.rutgers.edu and getINVOLVED, which gives you brief descriptions of the organization, their time and meeting place and contact information.

If you find a group you like, search them up on Facebook and see if you can find their page.

Rutgers will also be hosting an Involvement Fair on Monday, Sept. 4 (the rain date is Sept. 8) from 3 to 6 p.m. on the College Avenue campus.

The Involvement Fair is a great way to meet student leaders, ask questions and try to find out which club suits you best (or, which clubs).

How many clubs should I join?

There is no limit to how many clubs or organizations you can join, but do not overbook yourself.

It can be hard to juggle a full-time course load with multiple clubs and a job or internship -- at some point you are going to be overwhelmed, and the last thing you want is to have to quit organizations you have become heavily involved with.

Start off by going to the first meeting of as many clubs as you want, then choose which ones you like best and can see yourself getting the most involved with.

What about commuters?

Getting involved as a commuter can be a challenge, especially if you live far away or have a job on the side.

The biggest challenge for commuters is that most clubs and organizations meet in the evening -- probably long after your final class for the day.

Commuters can join the Rutgers Commuter Student Association (RCSA), which works with other organizations to help integrate commuters on campus.

There are also multiple on campus lounges and study spaces that commuters can take advantage of, particularly if you have time to kill in between classes or if you are looking to meet other commuters.

As for getting involved, the best advice that can be given (from someone who commutes) is to choose at least one organization that you really love and make time for it every week.

Unfortunately, there is not always away to get around late meeting times, but if you love the organization, it is worth it.

Why should I get involved?

Joining clubs and organizations allows you to make friends around Rutgers' enormous campus and makes the University feel just a little bit smaller. It is the perfect way to find your own niche on campus.

But you also get to meet different professors and administrators at the University, and many clubs host fun events that bring in nationally, or even internationally known authors, actors, comedians and musicians. 

Perhaps most important is the experience you can gain through working with other clubs, organizing events, convincing more students to join and maintaining a budget. Clubs and organizations also allow you to make connections that may land you an internship or job down the road — so take advantage of these four years, find your place on campus and get as involved as you can.


Alexandra DeMatos

ad1049@scarletmail.rutgers.edu

Alexandra DeMatos is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum. She is a senior, majoring in journalism and media studies. Follow her on Twitter @DeMatosA for more. 


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