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Peer to Peer: Tips for students finding the right fit on the BW campus

With more than 100 campus clubs and organizations, we turned to Baldwin Wallace University student body president Elizabeth "Lizzy" Cole '23 for advice on searching out connection in campus groups.

BW’s fall Involvement Fair and spring Student Organization Celebration Week are just two of the ways students discover and connect with 100+ campus clubs and orgs.

While establishing good habits for academic success is at the top of the to-do list for incoming (and returning) college students, of equal importance is forging connections and finding places to grow outside the classroom.

In higher education, sanctioned campus organizations and events are known as "co-curricular" activities because they are designed to complement classroom experiences and foster growth in areas that are prized by employers: leadership, organizational skills, communication and more.

At BW, there are so many choices (100+ organizations) that it's hard to know where to start. We asked Lizzy, a rising senior, for advice.

Running on a platform of inclusion for people with disabilities and those with different religious backgrounds, Cole (right) and Matt Perry were elected to serve as BW study body president and vice pr

So, Lizzy, once a student arrives on campus, how can they search for the right club or group to join?

Baldwin Wallace has a plethora of wonderful campus organizations, and there are many different avenues to find them.

Before they even arrive on campus, incoming students can view a list of recognized student organizations on the BW website and start to get an idea of what groups they may be interested in. Once on campus, clubs and organizations may be found through social media, flyers, the Involvement Fair and word of mouth.

For example, during my first year, I auditioned for Prism, a campus talent showcase, that I found through social media. I attended sorority recruitment after seeing a flyer on campus. I joined our campus Hillel chapter after visiting their booth at the BW Involvement Fair. Lastly, I joined student government after talking to other students about the organizations they valued.

Cole, who is studying mild/moderate educational needs with a minor in psychology, finds time to participate in student government, the Delta Zeta sorority, Hillel executive board, BW Students Educatio

What kind of organizations are represented at BW?

With over 100 student clubs and organizations at Baldwin Wallace, there is something for everyone! We have nearly every club imaginable on campus. There are clubs based on academics, athletics and recreation, music, religion and spirituality, service, wellness and everything in between.

Students on the Baldwin Wallace campus actually have to be careful not to join too many clubs because there are so many amazing organizations on campus.

How do you narrow it down?

Aru Gupta '21 (student body president 2019-20) gave me great advice when I was a freshman: join one club you know you will love, one club you are interested in and one club you do not think you'll like. This will allow you to join new and different organizations while spreading your wings into different avenues.

If you don't jump in right away, can you join a group down the road?

There is no set time to join most organizations, just people looking forward to welcoming you into their organization. While most student groups welcome new members at any time throughout the academic year, a few do have a specific application period.

The Involvement Fair, which takes place the first week of classes in the fall, is the most popular opportunity for groups to recruit new members. For students who are not yet ready to get involved during the fall semester and for students who first join the BW community in the spring semester, Student Organization Celebration Week is hosted at the end of January and is another opportunity for student organizations to showcase their group to interested students.

BW’s fall Involvement Fair and spring Student Organization Celebration Week are just two of the ways students discover and connect with 100+ campus clubs and orgs.

Any other advice for students who may be hesitant or anxious about getting involved?

In general, Baldwin Wallace is a unique environment in which everyone is welcome all of the time. There is a place for everyone at BW.

When you arrive on campus, reach out to student leaders. I know I am happy to guide anyone new as they find their place and create their home-away-from-home at BW.

Social Media Sources

Finally, Cole, who works in the Student Life Center, recommends students on Instagram follow @bwstudentlife, @bw_yjab (the student-run Yellow Jacket Activities Board) and @cole.perry2022 (the account she and student body vice president Matt Webb run) for announcements and reminders on ways to get involved.

Many clubs, groups, departments and organizations also run social media accounts in addition to the BW flagship channels linked at the bottom of this page.

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