Student involvement and engagement in campus activities is much more than just a fun time; it is also critical to their success as a student. While many parents and family members are anxious about students becoming involved in activities and neglecting their studies, studies show that moderate involvement in extracurricular activities and organizations actually improve students' level of satisfaction with their institution, their academic performance, and their likelihood of graduating. Additional benefits include:
- creating and developing friendships and relationships which often serve as support networks.
- maintaining academic standards required by most student organizations.
- building leadership skills and the ability to work in team settings.
- providing students with relevant work, internship, or practicum experiences.
We hope you will encourage your student to get involved with programs and organizations that nuture their development as students and allow them to explore their passions and interests. Here are some excellent resources they can use to get involved!
Students participating in Playfair, a large-scale
The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) coordinates many of the campus' involvement opportunities. OSE oversees the campus' 300+ student organizations that represent almost any student interest. If a student cannot find any organization that appeals to their interests, they can also create their own organization. Using Campus LINK, our University's student organization community accessible from My Missouri State, students can view information about each organization, request to become a member, complete forms, and more.
OSE also advises the Student Activities Council (SAC). SAC is the campus' student programming board. They utilize funds generated by the student involvement fee to plan social, cultural and diverse events that are open to the entire student body. Most activities are free, but some special events on campus have a minimal participation fee. A number of committees, which include lectures, comedy, campus events, concerts, cultural affairs, films, and After Hours, plan events for students throughout the year. Students are encouraged to participate in SAC committees and the weekly meetings.
In addition, OSE also plans a number of large-scale campus events, such as Homecoming activities and events for Welcome Weekend (the fall semester move-in weekend).
Fraternity and Sorority Life
Modern fraterity and sororities are far removed from their portrayal in films like Animal House. Fraternities and sororities are now organizations that--in addition to hosting social events and fostering brother and sisterhood--focus on the personal, academic, and professional development of their members. Greek students often note that officer and committee positions help them develop leadership skills, connections with alumni provide mentoring and career network opportunities, and GPA standards these organizations hold promote academic success.
Each chapter belongs to a self-governing body: fraternities belog to the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), sororities to the Panhellenic Association (PHA), and historically African American fraternities and sororities to the National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPHC). The Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Fraternity and Sorority Life serves as the overall advisor for all social fraterities and sororities and advises IFC, PHA, and NPHC boards. She also acts as a liaison between fraternity and sorority members and Missouri State University, supervises events, trains and educates chapters in risk management, and helps plan and implement programs for the fraternity and sorority community.
For more information about Missouri State's Greek community, please visit the Fraternity and Sorority Life website.
The Office of Student Engagement also coordinates three major programs which help students develop valuable leadership skills. All programs focus on experiential learning in which students complete activities and discussions together to learn information and skills.
The Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program is a five week leadership program designed by upperclassmen for freshmen and sophomore students. Selection for this program begins late in the fall semester and the program occurs during the following spring semester. Application information can be found at the link above.
The Hutchens/SGA Centennial Leaders program is available for 25 students selected for the Hutchens/SGA Centennial Leaders Scholarship during their senior year of high school. Application information can be found at the link above.
The Distinction in Public Affairs program brings students, faculty and staff together to learn more about the university’s mission in public affairs and how it applies to them both in and out of the classroom. Students complete a project in the community together and present at the Public Affairs Conference. Application information can be found at the link above.
|Volunteers assist with relief and debris-removal efforts
for after a tornado struck Joplin, Missouri in 2011.
Volunteering one's time and services is an excellent way for students to not only get involved on campus, but to also provide students practical experience for future jobs, give them a sense of self-worth and accomplishment, and help them improve the community around them. The Office of Student Engagement's Volunteer Programs helps Missouri State students, faculty, and staff become active participants in the Springfield community. It provides information on hundreds of volunteer opportunities offered by more than 70 local and national agencies.
This office also coordinates special events and programs centered on volunteerism. Its annual Volunteer Fair helps local and national agencies tell students about their volunteer opportunities and provide them with more information. Into the Streets is an annual program that offers hundreds of Missouri State University students an opportunity to enter the Springfield community and help local agencies, non-profits, and other places of need. This office also coordinates alternative breaks, which are special volunteer programs offered during Fall and Spring Breaks, usually to locations of great need in other areas of the state or nation.
For more information about Missouri State's volunteer programs, please visit the Volunteer Programs website.