Semester’s end an opportunity to reflect on campus club life

If you, dear reader, will excuse a level of informal language here, I believe it is appropriate to close the semester and 2011 with a reflection.

I began the semester with the lofty goal of attending one meeting from every student organization Oklahoma City Community College had to offer. I wanted to see what kind of variety could be found in the clubs and the kinds of activities that each club had. What I found surprised me.

The easiest clubs to track down were our spiritual and faith based student organizations. The Baptist Student Association is the largest of these. They meet outside the Bruce Owen Theatre and usually have pizza. The atmosphere is similar to non-denominational churches. People are fairly accepting and I could really feel the faith in their message.

If someone is interested in a more intimate, bible study then the Christians on Campus are the route to go. They have a smaller group, but have such an air of authenticity about them that is welcoming and warm. I had difficulties meeting with Chi Alpha, and Christ Campus Fellowship due to scheduling, and issue addressed further below.

Of the ethnic and heritage student organizations I was only able to meet with the Black Student Association. This meeting was a blast. I participated in a group skit, enjoyed some refreshments, and learned that the organization does something called a “library take over” which is a mixed mentoring and study session done at the library.

Though I failed to meet with the Native American Student Association, the International Student Association, or the Hispanic Organization to Promote Education, I never felt as though I was unwelcomed by any of them and my communications with them were always positive.

Of the student organizations deeply tied to a major available at this school, I attended a meeting with the Engineering Club. It appears that the Engineering Club’s primary focus is tutoring its members, however they take frequent trips to engineering related events and often have food at their meetings. They also encourage students who are not engineering or science majors but have a love of either to attend their meetings.

An odd thing happened with our political student organizations this semester. The College Republicans grew in strength, became more active, and became more open. However the College Democrats seemed to fade into the background. This makes me wonder if there will ever be a time when both can be community leaders at this school. The meeting with the College Republicans was relaxed and informal but took care of the business that needed to be discussed.

The honors society organizations I visited both gave me the sense that they were struggling against an apathetic student body but trying to accomplish great things. Phi Theta Kappa is working with a school in Mexico to study ethics in an area as technology becomes available, this project should wrap up during Spring 2012.

For the month of December, Kappa Beta Delta is running an angel tree to purchase gifts for underprivileged children.

What remains are groups that I had more invested in this semester, Advocates of Peace, the Gay Straight Alliance, the Gamer Guild, and the Leadership Council. The first three, I would categorize as social organizations. Advocates of Peace is a group that feels as grassroots its name sounds. They bring attention to issues and assist students in voicing their opinions.

The Gay Straight Alliance saw new faces this semester and took a more active leadership role with the other groups.

The formation of the Gamer Guild has been widely accepted and yet a constant struggle. I hope that they survive a few years.

The Leadership Council has been part of many big decisions this semester and has done an excellent job in introducing new members to how to be part of student government.

Overall I have seen that we a very diverse selection of organizations, which these organizations seem to want to work with each other on projects one club, could not do alone and that there are areas where these clubs could come together successfully. One such area is mentoring. Another trend I saw with the clubs was with scheduling. It seems that every club wanted to meet in the exact same time slot this semester, making it hard for people who wanted to attend meetings of multiple clubs. Also not many of the clubs had meetings or events for the night students, I feel this is shame.

My experiences with this project overall are positive, I regret not getting to more of the organizations but that’s life.

If anyone is interested in joining or starting a club the office of Student Life will be more than happy to help.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Mike Wormley and do not reflect the opinions or views of any other Pioneer employees.

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