How Important Are Student Organizations On Campus?

Student organizations are integral to any campus life! Here at the University of Rochester, there are 200+ organizations ranging from cultural, academic, professional, community service, intramural, class council, performance, and organizations based on specific niches and interests. Each year, more and more student organizations are formed. Just this year alone, 1st Gen Society and Vietnamese Student Association were some of the groups who joined the many organizations that Rochester has to offer. There are even graduate organizations available.

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1st Gen Society’s General Interest Meeting

Every organization that is recognized under the Student Association even receives funding to put on amazing events like Students Helping Honduras Benefit Dinner, Cinema Groups weekly movie, and Open Mic Night hosted by Music Interest Floor. Yes, special interest floors are not just a student organization, but floors in residential dormitories can even become dedicated to certain hobbies and clubs. Anime Interest Floor, Computer Interest Floor, and Greenspace are just some of the interest floors available. Also, Greek life is also quite popular at Rochester, including up to 34 different fraternity and sorority with some having houses on Fraternity Road, on campus.

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Students Helping Honduras Benefit Dinner


In continuation, here is a breakdown of several of the major types of organization and what they have to offer.

Academic Undergraduate Councils

Like the name implies, these organizations are based on the academic majors offered at Rochester. Oftentimes, these councils are led by upperclass students who are part of their respective major’s department with the intended goal of encouraging students to join the major and also connect students to the department. For example, Society of Undergraduate Biology (SUBS) holds their famous, Volleyball With Professors, where faculty from the Biology department will come out to the Goergen Athletic Center to play with the students. Also, SUBS host pizza with professors, research panels, and even weekly study groups for many biology courses. The Undergraduate Chemistry Council is also another big organization that leads their weekly group study hour in the Tutoring Zone, Chemistry in Action Show for middle schoolers and high schoolers in the Great Rochester Area, and Careers in Chemistry Panel!

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Dr. Ghaemmaghami Partakes in SUBS Volleyball

Pre-Professional

These organizations focus on specific professions and include organizations such as Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), UR Pre-Dental Club, Charles Drew Pre-Health Society, Meliora Launchpad (an entrepreneurship based- organization), Biomedical Engineer Society and many more. These organizations host many professional events as well as send students to attend national conferences focusing on their respective professions. SASE and AICHE for example, send students each year to their respective national conference which includes workshops, career fairs, etc. Some professional development workshops include collaborating with the Career Center for resume reviews, interview training, dressing and presenting workshops, and much more! Not only that but these organizations often times reach out to professionals in their field to provide guest speakers and panelists in order to assist the students in their exploration of their career goals. In addition, these organizations help serve the greater Rochester area by volunteering and hosting community service opportunities.

Fall 2018 BMES Picnic.

BMES Annual Picnic

Performing Arts

A cappella is an extremely huge part of the University of Rochester. There are close to ten different a cappella groups ranging from competitive based a cappella to more casual groups. Vocal Point, for example, was able to place first in an International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella. Not only that, but many of the a cappella groups also release hit songs and albums including Midnight Ramblers Death of a Bachelor and Yellow Jacket’s City of Stars music video. Rochester also has amazing groups like Off Broadway on Campus, In Between the Line Improv Club, and Celtic Dance Team as examples of other performing arts! Many of these organizations host their own show but also play a major role in the Celebrating Diversity event during orientation week.

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Trebellious’s Performance, Credits to UR Photography

 

Community Service

There are also a ton of community service opportunities hosted by community service student organizations. STEM Initiative holds Family Science Day each year and Peers for Animal Wellness and Safety volunteers at the local animal shelter. Also, other community service organizations such as U of R Rotaract that has previously prepared meals at the Ronald McDonald House and collecting food for the East High Food Pantry, hold many events to benefit the greater Rochester area. Also, Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed fraternity that focuses on community service including community service activities such as helping with AutismUP and helping at the Willow Domestic Violence Center. The many community service based organization definitely plays an instrumental role in serving the greater Rochester community!

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APO Helping at the Willow Domestic Violence Center

Cultural Student Organizations

These organizations play a huge role in promoting different cultures and diversity on campus. Reaching close to 30 different cultural organizations, these organization helps the Rochester community celebrate diversity by hosting cultural awareness weeks, food events from around the world, cultural history events, and bringing guest alumni from their respective cultures. Hong Kong Student Association, for example, invited Evans Lam, an extremely well-respected alumni from the Simon Business School, to showcase both his cultural background and his connection to Rochester. Also, other organizations like Korean American Student Association celebrates diversity by holding their Korea Night each year and Black Student Union holds their political action month activities. Additionally, many of these organizations partner with the Dining Services to hold cultural dinners at Danforth Dining Center. Although many of these organizations are culture-specific, they are definitely not culturally exclusive as many of these organizations focus on promoting their culture to all students at Rochester.

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KASA’s Korea Night

Although there are many other categories like sports, hobbies, and political organizations, in summary, the University has many opportunities for students to explore their interests. These were only just several of the categories that we offer, but definitely, we have an amazing student life on campus!

About the author

Sammy Cheng

Hi! I am a member of the Class of 2021 planning to major in microbiology and minor in clinical psychology and bioethics. Being born in New York but raised in Indiana for most of my life makes living in upstate New York a very different experience. I am part of the Hong Kong Student Organization, Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers, and the Undergraduate Society of Biology. Hopefully, I can provide valuable insight into life at the University of Rochester!

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