COLUMN: Get involved early and often
As we near the end of the semester, now is a great time to reflect on the things we have accomplished as students and set goals for the future.
I would like to take this time to encourage returning and future students to get involved on campus, and do so early.
Joining a registered student organization is one of the best ways to do this, and getting involved in the leadership of an RSO is both rewarding and a great way to build a résumé. If you cannot find an RSO that fits what you are looking for, start your own. It will take a lot of work to get it off the ground, but helping fellow students get involved in an RSO is one of the most emotionally rewarding things you can do.
At this moment, CMU is going through some interesting times — we have had major conflicts between the administration and the faculty, controversy surrounding the medical school and issues with funding for the Events Center. All students have a vested interest in these issues and the various other issues facing CMU right now, and the amount of students who complain about these issues vastly outnumber the students who actually get involved to shape the direction CMU goes.
At the beginning of this school year, I saw these issues brewing and wanted to get involved. I looked into being nominated for the Academic Senate, but unfortunately it did not fit into my class schedule, and not getting involved in shaping the discussion at the university earlier in college is one of my biggest regrets.
I would encourage anyone interested in these issues to look into stepping up and joining the Academic Senate, Student Government Association, or any of the various committees that shape university policy. This is your university, and you have a vested interest in it; whether you tend to agree with the faculty, the administration or disagree with both, get involved so you can amplify the magnitude of your voice.
This being said, taking a leadership role is not right for everyone, but anyone can voice their opinions. If you care about an issue, write a letter to the editor or become a columnist. I was hired as a columnist back in 2009 because I was writing so many letters to the editor that I caught the attention of one of the editors. If you have an interest in writing regularly, apply for a job as a columnist. People will not always like what you have to say, but at least you are making your voice heard.
As I look back on my college career, I do not regret getting involved in anything that I have been a part of. Being involved on campus is not just about boosting your résumé; it is about getting the best out of your time here at CMU, and I encourage all of you to make the most your time here at CMU.
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