Why Clubs? - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
February 22, 2016

Why Clubs?

Geneva College has a lot of clubs. With almost 30 clubs (and growing) ranging from the local chapter of the American Society for Civil Engineers to the Superfans club, student organizations represent a wide variety of interests. However, such a variety can be overwhelming. With an already busy schedule, why carve out more precious time to decide which club to join, let alone the time required to participate in a student club? It’s a reasonable question, but there really are a number of good answers. So here are just a few reasons to join a club:

  • Professional Development. Especially for clubs focused on a particular profession (business, human resources, mechanical engineering, etc.), the organized structure of a club offers special professional development opportunities. Speakers from local businesses and former Geneva students often come to speak at club events about their professional experience or to provide helpful tips for students preparing for professional work. Sometimes a club will organize a field trip to a conference or workshop. Either way, joining a club allows you to learn what professional development opportunities can and should look like. Nearly every occupation in the American workforce will require you to participate in ongoing training and professional development related to your field of work. So understanding what that looks like is an essential skill for your post-college endeavors.
  • Leadership Opportunities. If you only want to participate as a club member, you can still benefit greatly from being part of a club, but serving as a club officer offers unique opportunities to gain valuable experience in real-world leadership skills like managing budgets, running meetings and planning events. It may not seem significant, but doing these things on small scale gives you a head start that you can’t get from any amount of reading about being in a position of responsibility.
  • Community Engagement. Part of Geneva’s vision for student clubs is connecting students to both the Geneva campus community and the larger community of Beaver Falls. Participating in a club will give you the chance to attend and plan events that serve other students and local community members. While some clubs may focus more on the student community (e.g., Fellowship of Christian Athletes or Multicultural Student Union) and some may focus more on the local community (e.g., Creation Stewardship), all clubs are required to engage both.

Clubs

Weighing these benefits of joining a club against your passions and interests can help you narrow your field of selection. Are you most interested in finding ways to network with local engineering professionals as you think about job searching? Then maybe the ASCE club is a good fit for you. Are you most interested in serving the local community by promoting environmental stewardship? Then maybe the Creation Stewardship club is your best choice. And if you don’t see one that aligns with your passions, then you could always just start that club you wish existed.

–Jeff Carpenter, Master of Arts in Higher Education ’17


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