How important is campus involvement?
EVERY STUDENT SHOULD PARTICIPATE | Matt Kriese
Before students step into the professional world, it is crucial that they
first understand the importance of community. College is a unique opportunity to begin establishing this community and using it to propel forward into future professional endeavors.
According to university research, students who are employed on campus or participate regularly in campus activities such as clubs, organizations, and events have a substantially higher chance of staying in school until graduation and have a better chance of having a high GPA. According to these conclusions, it is obvious that every student should strive to be as involved with their college as they can be on account of it quite literally making these students better at being students. But retention statistics do little in terms of inspiring people to engage with their university.
“A broader and more rewarding experience”
The real incentive that students can viscerally experience when they begin to engage in campus activities is that they will begin to see college as a broader and more rewarding experience than they otherwise would. Many students at CU Denver commute to and from school, interacting with only a handful of students along the way. This leads to a severe sense of isolation among these students that can cause them to leave higher education altogether. Establishing a sense of community and belonging can change the experience of these students for the better.
Student organizations in particular have a positive effect on the mental wellbeing of students. As a student sees a community of like-minded students begin to develop around them, the faceless masses of a college campus begin to feel more like a place to go when a student needs to be with people they’re close to. Commuting begins to feel like a privilege and not a hassle.
While the difficult truth of commuter campuses is that students don’t experience a true sense of closeness to their colleagues, the best solution to this is to create forums through which they can interact in some legitimate capacity, and it is up to the student to take advantage of these opportunities.
IT IS UP TO THE STUDENT TO DECIDE | Ashley Kim
Campus employment, movie nights, and block parties all of these things are a part of the quintessential college experience. And so is having the freedom to choose whether or not to participate in them.
College is a developmental period in every student’s life. It’s a time for students to develop and master skills that they will carry with them for their entire lives—and that includes professional development.
“Students should not feel obligated to be engaged in their campus”
It can be argued that having a campus job or participating in campus activities and events can help students further succeed in school and in life in addition to having a better attitude and having an increased chance at succeeding in school and the professional world. But students should not feel obligated to be engaged in their campus, especially if they don’t want to, because these benefits are not applicable to everyone.
It’s important to remember that CU Denver is unique in that more than half of its student body commutes to campus everyday. Asking students, or rather telling them, to participate in campus activities is ignorant in itself, as it is hard or commuters to plan their schedules accordingly.
Student schedules are hectic enough. On top of schoolwork, jobs, family commitments, and commuting, students don’t need to worry about joining extracurriculars to feel like they’re a part of the campus community.
Students can succeed on their own, and if they want to feel a greater sense of community in their campus there are other ways to do it, including simply becoming friends with classmates.
Campus events are happening all the time, but sometimes they happen during class or at a time that simply isn’t feasible to attend for some students. It’s especially unreasonable for students that commute to campus to be involved in campus groups, especially ones that don’t align with their schedule, which might interfere with other responsibilities.
Students can succeed on their own terms. They don’t need extracurricular activities to boost their morale, especially if they don’t want them to. After all, the beauty of college is having the freedom and responsibility to choose.