When you think about student organizations you may categorize them as being an undergraduate experience, however participating in campus organizations can also benefit graduate students both personally and professionally. When you are away from home, you can sometimes feel separated from all things familiar. Fortunately, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the Lincoln community offer a wide variety of events and opportunities to connect with others from around the community based on similar interests or personal background. Lincoln is a vibrant community with many cultural, artistic and, of course, sports activities in which you may choose to participate. The University community also provides activities which may help you feel connected to others and one of those ways is through joining student groups. We encourage to think outside the box and explore opportunities to be involved with organizations across the campus.
How to get involved
University of Nebraska-Lincoln students come to campus with diverse backgrounds, interests and skills. One of the ways to showcase and develop skills is to become involved in a Recognized Student Organization (RSO). RSOs are governed through the Student Involvement Office located in the Nebraska Union on City Campus. There are hundreds of student organizations already in existence at UNL. The focus of these groups include ethnic or cultural interests such as the Bangladeshi Students Association , academic areas such as the History Graduate Students Association , professional development such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers or personal interests such as the International Folk Dancers or Healthy Huskers. Each group provides opportunities to share cultural, academic, professional and personal interests while developing leadership and mentoring skills.
Joining a cultural group provides the opportunity to learn more about the specific country and its traditions, food, and people. The club provides an avenue for awareness of issues or perhaps advocacy while interacting with students within the group. It may even bring you a sense of being closer to home. There are RSO cultural groups representing many cultures around the world such as the Czech Komensky Club or the Iranian Student Organization. For international students, joining these groups can be a great way to connect with others from your home country.
Professional interest groups provide avenues to develop and use your skills outside of the classroom. You may choose to mentor other students, organize activities and participate in events that will be great additions to your CV while learning more about the particular topic. Professional groups from the Actuarial Science Club to Toastmasters can broaden your experiences at UNL. These organizations may provide opportunities to improve your communication or presentation skills, serve in leadership positions, or build networks with others in your field.
Personal interest groups are an outlet that may help you learn a hobby or participate in events that allow you relax or meet new friends with similar interests. Some of the most successful graduate students are the ones who practice self-care and know how to take care of their own needs and psychological health. With all of the organizations on campus, there is certain to be one that would appeal to you. For example, did you know there was a Soap Carving Club on campus? You may also be able to teach others something you know!
If you want to focus on groups whose members are only graduate students there are still plenty to choose from, especially those in the academic areas. In addition to the Graduate Student Assembly, there are many more specific groups for graduate students including: the International Graduate Student Association, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Graduate Student Association or the Black Graduate Student Association.
Curious to check out all of your options? You can find a list of organizations on the Student Involvement web site.