Mackenzie Bailey, Staff Writer
Mason offers a variety of clubs and organizations, but deciding which ones to join can seem overwhelming at times.
Fortunately Mason provides many resources to help students find clubs and organizations that fit their interests.
Registered Student Organization (RSO) Leadership team member Ryan Smith advises students looking to get more involved to check out Get Connected, a website that lists the numerous Greek chapters, academic societies, sports clubs and other groups at Mason.
“Every organization has a page on there, and you can search for your interests, and it gives you all the organizations that fall in your search and their contact info,” Smith said.
Additionally, Smith suggests students visit the RSO office located in the Office of Student Involvement in SUB I to learn more.
Several returning students say they were inspired to join groups because of guest speakers who gave presentations in their classes. Senior conflict analysis and resolution major Caroline Chisolm says she decided to join AGORA, a student organization designed especially for conflict analysis and resolution majors at Mason, when a representative from the group spoke in one of her classes.
Chisolm adds that an email sent to her by the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution which mentioned AGORA also persuaded her to join. She suggests any student looking to join an organization or club related to his or her field of study pay special attention to emails like this.
“Sign up for your college’s email lists to get info on groups and events relevant to your major,” Chisolm suggests.
Most colleges and departments at Mason email students regularly to keep them up to date on events, internships, clubs, or research opportunities related to their majors.
Students looking to earn academic credit or make a little extra pocket money might consider finding a job on campus or participating in faculty-led research.
Junior nutrition major Harper Lovegrove found her her current undergraduate research position at Mason by contacting professors.
“I knew I wanted to do summer research, so I emailed some nutrition professors last spring about any research opportunities they had available,” Lovegrove said.
Senior Camillia Elci had a similar experience when finding her on-campus job with Housing and Residence Life. Elci knew a former graduate assistant who had worked with the organization in the past and encouraged Elci to apply.
It’s also easy for students at Mason to start their own groups.
Colin Nackerman is a rising senior who founded Transparent GMU after learning about a problem at Mason that needed to be addressed. “I met a professor who knew about the issue of private donor funding and the potential negative influence on campus, and so we started an organization!” Nackerman said.
For students who want to stay in shape or try a new sport, Mason’s club sports teams may be a perfect fit. Most of the teams are listed on Get Connected, and many have Facebook pages.
Alumna Renee Murphy, who joined the Trap and Skeet club during her time at Mason, recommends that anyone wanting to continue a sport they played in high school join a club team.
“There are so many different sports from shooting shotguns (what I did), to playing badminton, to normal sports, such as soccer, tennis, volleyball, and others. It’s such an awesome community, and you can get positions in each club, such as treasurer, president, vice president, and others, which looks awesome on resumes!” Murphy said.
Similarly, Devin Humphreys joined the club lacrosse team because of her previous experience with the sport. She contacted the team through the its website and, after playing for a time, was eventually recruited to play on Mason’s D1 team.
Humphreys also suggests students check out Mason’s Greek life. Humphreys joined her sorority after some of her friends convinced her to rush.
When it comes to Fraternity and Sorority recruitment at Mason, talking to students who are already involved is the best way to get a sense of the process.
Senior Haley Spicer says “to find out about recruitment events for Panhellenic and IFC organizations you can follow them on social media and attend the welcome week events that they will be tabling at.”
Spicer says students who are interested should register for recruitment online at gmu.mycampusdirector.com/register.
“Greek life also hosts events at the beginning of the year before they begin their recruitment processes; in the past they’ve hosted a big barbecue and other events,” Spicer added.
Mason is also home to plenty of academic and cultural fraternities and sororities, including an honors fraternity, a Latin sorority, and an engineering fraternity. Many of these groups are co-ed.
Recent graduate Jennifer Miller served as president of Phi Sigma Pi, an honors fraternity, during her time at Mason. She got involved because her sister who was a member of the same organization at another university encouraged her to join.
There is something everyone at Mason. By networking with other students and professors, utilizing social media, and checking out organizations’ websites, students are sure to find activities they enjoy.