What’s the point? Getting involved

Pro

Dave Shore

If it didn’t already weigh heavily in
your choice to attend this institution,
you’re going to learn very
quickly that Laurier has a culture
very different from other universities.

We’ve consistently placed first in
every Canadian university ranking for
“volunteerism” and “student engagement”.
Essentially, Laurier is a place
where students don’t just go to class;
they get involved.

Right from the get-go you’ll be
told by numerous people that in order
to get the most out of your time
at university, you absolutely have to
“get involved.” Then you’ll go to a get
involved fair where you’ll be shown
the countless ways in which you can
“get involved.” Yet, despite all this,
you probably will still have no fucking
clue what “getting involved” actually
entails.

Quite simply, all you have to do to
“get involved” is join and participate in
at least one student group. And, while
I hate to say it, the incessant army of
school-spirited weirdos at this school
is right when they happily exclaim,
“There’s something for everyone!”

It’s true though. Unlike high school
where if you didn’t like one of the six
clubs and eight sports teams, you were
pretty much left with smoking weed
behind the portables, there’s actually
a ton of stuff to do at Laurier. From
volunteering around the community
to student governance to special interest
groups, if you can’t find at least one
club that coincides with a part of your
personality, then you officially don’t
have a personality.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a
while (maybe even a couple years in
school) to find a club that really fits
with you.

WLUSU will try to tell you that
“there’s something for everybody”
within the services that they offer:
this is just false. While tons of people
will love what WLUSU has going on,
others will want to steer clear of them
entirely.

Luckily, there’s tons of other, more
varied organizations around campus.

They just take a little bit of finding.
Don’t be afraid to take an active part in
searching out student groups to join;
most of them will be thrilled to let you
join in on meetings or events.

This isn’t to say that everyone gets
involved in a student group. Many
prefer to focus solely on academics.
Others get part-time jobs or participate
in other activities around the city.
And while there’s nothing wrong with
this, these people just aren’t getting
the full university experience, or at
least the full Laurier experience.

Ultimately, student groups are,
shockingly, comprised of other students.
They are the most foolproof
way to meet like-minded people.
They act as the gateway to study buddies,
party invites and significant
friendships.

Getting involved is quite easy, and
without doing so your time at university
will be much less exciting.

Con

Laura Sedgwick

It’s easy to tell someone that they
should get involved at university.
After all, university is a place for
learning, both inside and outside
of the classroom. However, if there’s
one thing I’ve learned at university, it’s
that there is rarely only one right way
to do something.

This alone refutes the idea that “everybody
needs to be in at least one
student group in order to get the full
university experience,” as there is
no one way to get the “full university
experience.”

Of course, with that said, it is true
that being an active member of student
groups adds to one’s experience
of university. This is especially true
at Laurier, where there are so many
things to get involved with.

If you care about the environment,
you can apply for Ecohawks; if you
want a close knit group of friends, you
can rush a fraternity or sorority and if
you like dragon boating, you can join
the WLU Dragon Boat Club.

Joining student groups is a great
way to do what you enjoy while simultaneously
meeting like-minded
individuals, making great friends and
learning about your university. However,
student groups aren’t the only
way to get these experiences.

There are many off-campus organizations
where similar benefits present
themselves. These include volunteering
at St. John’s Ambulance, Registry
Theatre or Extend-A-Family. Additionally,
joining off-campus groups
allows one to expand beyond the infamous
“Laurier bubble” and into the
“real world.”

If this doesn’t pique your interest,
other alternatives to student groups
including focusing on academics,
working out at the gym or having a
part-time job.

These options achieve additional
benefits beyond that of most student
groups, namely, keeping up with your
course work, staying fit and making a
bit of extra cash.

The simple truth is that, while student
groups can be both fun and valuable,
all of the benefits they offer can
also be found in other places. There is
no rule dictating that students need to
join groups of any nature. At the end
of the day, it is up to you as a student
to define what your own university
experience should be, whether it be
through student groups or your preferred
alternatives.

These alternatives contribute to
the “fullness” of one’s university experience
in the same way that joining
student groups does. You can have a
fulfilling university experience doing
whatever it is that you enjoy. Just
remember, you get out of university
what you put into it.

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