Thursday, September 27, 2012

How I Got Involved

Wendy Vega

The first thing many people think when they set foot onto a college campus is, "Oh my god there's so many things to do!"  Yes, it's true we do have many things to do, but how do we determine which organizations best fit our needs?  This is a great question!  In order to determine which organization best fits your needs you mus do what I like to call, your homework.  Your homework will help you determine the organization's intentions toward its members and what their beliefs are.  Rule number one before joining any origination that doesn't value what you believe in you will have a miserable time.

When I first shopped around for the different organizations, I made a list of all the different names and went to my dorm room to do some research before committing to attend any of their general meetings.  Once all of my research was completed, I decided on attending general informational meetings for the organizations  whose paper information had caught my attention, once I went to the meetings, I realized that many of the organizations didn't practice what they preached, per say.  After determining that none of the organizations on our campus fit my needs, I decided I would do more research and talk to others on our campus about my dilemma.  I then found my ideal organizations, one in which I was not judged by my appearance nor was I going to be asked to change so that I would be able to fit into their cookie cutter molds.  Since then, I have been a proud member of The Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. at California State University, Chico.  Since becoming a member of this organization, I have become a better person and have grown in more ways than one.  I have also noticed that instead of having the organization stunt my accomplishments, the ladies within the organization have guided and supported me to become and do better than what I have already done.  With this being said, we must always look for an organization that will make us better people instead of dragging us down and causing us harm.

Elizabeth Hernandez

Getting involved is one of the most important facets of the college experience and has a huge impact on the academic and social status of an individual.  When a student first enters college it can be quite intimidating when they don't really know anyone or even know where their first class is.  Getting involved is the perfect way to make friends that share the same interests as you.  When you're looking into getting involved, it is important to keep your ears open and eyes peeled!  There are copious amounts of clubs and organizations that may or may not pertain to you.  trying out the different clubs or organizations, at least once, is never a bad thing.  Joining a club is a great way to feel a part of the community and can provide the opportunity for some fun!

I myself have taken advantage of this opportunity and am now the Vice President of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) here at Chico State.  This club allows me to make connections with my peers that area also future teachers.  Being the VP grants me the proper training to become a leader.  Through this club, I can look forward to having fun with science, making a trip to the observatory, and teaching kids some basics of science.  I am also a Peer Advisor in Liberal Studies (PALS) and this position allows me to learn about my major inside and out.  I am therefore, capable of sharing this information with my peers and am able to make strong connections with the other peer advisors.  I guess you can say we are somewhat of a family now.  The first semester of my college career I participated with CAVE (Community Action Volunteers in Education), which allowed me to become a teacher's aide in a 4th grade classroom in one of the local elementary schools.  Being a future elementary teacher, this organization was extremely rewarding and that's when I knew teaching was definitely my future career.  Becoming a part of your new college makes it feel more like home in so many ways, so find your club and sign up for everything and I promise only good things will follow.

Andrea Hernandez

Since the beginning of my first year here at Chico State, I began to get involved on campus in in my community.  I joined an organization called, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A) and I did some community service volunteering with them at the Boys and Girls Club and helped plan out events for the following semester.  I helped with events that year such as, Dia de los muertos, MEChA Toy Drive, and Cesar Chavez teach outs, just to name a few.  That year, I also applied to work at a local Halloween store where I had the chance to meet some of the locals and get used to my surroundings.

By the middle of the semester I had gone  in for my group advising to get some help with registration.  Pam was the advisor guiding us, but when students in my group began to ask questions about who to take the next semester and which classes, I was the one with the answers.  Pam was surprised at how much I knew and saw the potential I had to become a Peer Advisor in Liberal Studies.  She talked to me a little about the program and gave me an application.  I was a little hesitant on applying because I thought I was too young for the position and I had no clue about the program.  If it were not for Pam to keep reminding me to turn in my application, I would not have turned it in and become the advisor I am today.  I was fortunate to not only become a peer advisor, but also a student receptionist for the Liberal Studies Advising office.  From then on, my involvement in school and in the community has sky rocketed and although I might have a lot on my plate at times, I try and keep busy to give back to my school and community.

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