What’s What? Get the Inside Scope on Different UMU Organizations!
By: Brandon Lucas ’18
College is a time to diversify yourself. You have four years to try and learn and experience new activities. Whether it’s in your field, or not, attending a liberal arts university, and having over 80 plus organizations to join, allows you to expand your horizons and become a well-rounded individual. But with so many different organizations, what makes them all special and unique? I’m going to help you understand some of the different organizations on Mount Union’s campus!
Campus Wide Organizations
Starting off strong, we have our campus wide organizations. These organizations strive to provide entertainment and education about issues for the student body. Raider Programming Board (RPB) works on creating fun and safe environments for students to come together and relieve some stress, while winning some awesome prizes. They host the ever so popular Coffee House every other Friday, midweek madness every Wednesday where students can snack out and win some awesome prizes (gift cards, board games and more!), and some off campus trips to unique Ohio landmarks such as Cedar Point and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Senior Caitlin Fessler said, “Being able to plan events for students while gaining real world experience is something I will always appreciate. There is nothing like planning an event and seeing students and your friends enjoy all your hard work!”
Another campus wide organizations include Relay for Life and Up ‘til Dawn. Both of these events work on raising money and awareness about their causes. Relay for Life happens every year in the spring semester where organizations walk the track in the fieldhouse for 12 hours and host activities for people to participate in. Up ‘til Dawn first happens in the fall with the annual letter writing event where students write letters or send email to their family and friends asking for donations. In the spring, Up ‘til Dawn hosts its finale where the campus comes together to stay “up ‘til dawn” playing a variety of games, taking photos in a photo booth and seeing how much was raised this year for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. How cool is it to be a 20-year-old college student be able to raise over thousands of dollars for amazing causes like these? Seems like a great resume builder and a great way to give back.
Student-led organizations are the backbone of this campus. These organizations work to better the community (both Alliance and Mount Union) and students within that organization. An organization like this is Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). PRSSA works to foster a community and unity among the commination students on campus, but is open for all majors to join. Organizations like these typically bring in guest speakers in the field, resume nights, tours of agencies and more! One way PRSSA gave back to the community was through hosting a campus wide peanut butter donation event. The campaign brought in an astonishing 700 jars of peanut butter and all the donations was sent to the Alliance Community Pantry. Not only did the students make a difference in the community, but the students gained public relations and event planning skills which made the campaign a success!
Rachel Brumenschenkal, the past PRSSA President, said, “Being a member of PRSSA has helped me develop my leadership skills, meet new people and learn more about the PR field. It makes me excited to see what future career opportunities are in store for me!”
The Black Student Union (BSU) works to inform the community on the issues minorities are facing and allows a safe place for students to discuss these hot topic issues. BSU also hosts events based on current events such as having a water drive on campus when Flint, Michigan’s water was poisoned. This organization serves to not just benefit the Mount Union and Alliance community, but works to make a difference to those around the country and world!
Academics are a high priority for students so why not reward those who excel? That’s where academic organizations come into play! These organizations work to help those continually excel in their field and be surrounded by other leaders. One of the first organizations that many first year students are able to join that promotes academic excellence is Alpha Lambda Delta, a first year honor’s fraternity! This organization is dedicated to rewarding first year students on their successes and helping them grow and mature into future leaders. Once you get into Alpha Lambda Delta and thrive in your classes for your major, you can be invited to academic organizations focused on your major. One of them is the communication honorary Lambda Pi Eta. This organization works to help communication majors meet one another and allow them to find their passion within their field and even relax during the busy semester by having board game nights!
Vice President of Lambda Pi Eta Jenna Bluedorn said, “It’s awesome to not just be recognized for my success in the field, but to be able to work with others who are successful in the same areas!”
College a perfect time in your life to travel. There’s not a lot holding you back and that’s why Mount Union tries to offer numerous travel excursions! One of the most notable (and longest running) is the annual Wilderness Trip offered every summer. This trip takes a handful of students to the mountains and has them work on team building and leaderships experiences and get students really out of their comfort zone. With hiking and camping under the stars, students are truly pushed to the extreme to break out their shell and grow as leaders. Another trip is the annual EXPLO-Raider trip. This trip typically happens during spring break and allows students to travel across the states. Students are able to go on a relatively inexpensive trip to see different cultures and cities. In the past, EXPLO-Raider has taken students to New Orleans, Louisiana, Colorado, and this year to Atlanta, Georgia where students see the sights, embrace new cultures and lend a helping hand to the community by doing community service.
As you can see, there are countless different organizations for you to give back to. Whether you want to make a difference with a campus wide event, gain more local experience and join a student run organization, be surrounded by other academic leaders, or want to travel, each organization has its own uniqueness that allows any student to be involved.