Ryan Chartrand

Two words, that’s it: get involved. That’s all it takes to transform your experience at Cal Poly from awesome and life-changing (which it will be because, after all, we are at Cal Poly) to the biggest growing experience of your life.

Some people have been involved their whole lives at their elementary, middle, and high schools. For those, keep it up, don’t stop now, college will continue to provide more opportunities to gain valuable experience that will be nothing less than extraordinarily beneficial in the future.

To those who have never been involved before, don’t worry. With so many opportunities available it’s easy to get started. Fall quarter is the perfect time to try out any of the organizations or clubs that exist on campus. Whether you are a freshman or a senior it doesn’t matter, almost every group is trying to recruit new members.

Cal Poly has over 300 student organizations available for you to participate in and lead. Roughly 75 percent of Cal Poly students are involved in at least one of them. They range anywhere from the Society of Automotive Engineers to the American Marketing Association to one that you’re experiencing first hand, the Mustang Daily.

If you’re interested in joining the Greek community now is the perfect time. There are social, cultural and academic greek organizations that provide great opportunities to meet other students with similar interests and values. They each provide the opportunity to develop valuable leadership skills and give back to the community through a variety of philanthropic events.

Many of the clubs on campus relate specifically to academic programs. These offer a great way to gain experience on projects and programs that directly relate to the profession you may enter in the future. Nearly all of the academic student organizations offer direct connections to business that love to hire Cal Poly students for both internships and full-time positions. Becoming a leader in these groups means you will have direct access to company recruiters and will be able to work closely on various programs with other students who share your interests.

There are several multicultural organizations on campus as well that provide a great way to become more educated and aware in the diverse society we all share. If giving back to the community through community service interests you most, there are many groups on campus that focus on doing just that. Student Community Services is just one of many that puts on a variety of programs to give back to and better the area we live in.

Cal Poly sports clubs are some of the best in the nation. Many of our teams are top ranked in their division, region, or even the nation! These are an excellent way to develop athletic skills while still balancing a strong academic and personal life.

Of course, ASI Student Government is a great way to get involved as well. If you simply have a passion for making Cal Poly better, this is the place for you.

Getting involved outside of the classroom is the best way to gain the greatest experience while here in college. The skills that can be learned through leading a group or developing a program will last a lifetime and be nothing but valuable in the future.

Visit www.asi.calpoly.edu for more information and links to student government, clubs and more.

Todd Maki is the ASI pesident and a mechanical engineering senior.

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