A registered student organization can be defined as a collection of five or more faculty, staff, students, and individuals that have gone through a registration process that has allowed them to be recognized as an official organization (Bowman et al., 2015). The primary goal of a registered student organization support, adhere to and uphold the mission and beliefs of the university. It can be considered a club where only students may assume the role of officers and hold any positions that have a controlling interest. Required facets for a registered student organization include at least a school staff member or a designated faculty member to serve as the organization's advisor.
A number of sources have shown that students that take an interest in joining these clubs and engaging with their school community have a higher chance of settling in their desired employment choices later on (Bowman et al., 2015). The benefits of joining a registered student organization spans from personal development and maturity to making new friends and career networking and development. These benefits aside, several independent variables influencing students' perception of relating to, and joining student organizations have emerged (Haber et al., 2012). This study is keen to uncover these factors so they can be further engineered to encourage even more students to enroll in student organizations instead of shying away from them. Below are the findings.
Leaders in student organizations normally work in tandem with advisors from multicultural affairs and identity communities to create awareness and provide support, mentorship, resources, and advocacy for self and cultural consciousness (Haber et al., 2012). Student organizations offer cultural-based advising frameworks that guide and provide support for student groups in the pursuit of their cultural heritage. The call to be in a familiar ground that is close to home draws students to these organizations (Smith & Chenoweth, 2015). There is protection and an avenue to learn here. This is made possible because of cultural awareness.
Level of Academic Accomplishment
Campus-life is always associated with academic accomplishment. Students who take part in student groups feel more connected to campus. Involvement with these organizations offers an avenue for likeminded people to interact in a conducive environment (Smith & Chenoweth, 2015). These allow participants to take part in mind jogging and expanding experiences that can enhance their performance in class. Some of these organizations are also garnered to the best academic students in the world; being in them is prestige in itself (Smith & Chenoweth, 2015). Some of these organizations also take part in high-impact practices that aid in bolstering learning and retention in and out of class. Such practices include seminars and symposiums.
Participating in student organizations gives a sense of belonging. Students disclosed that involvement with these groups offered them an avenue to make friends, friends who they considered family from then on (Bowman et al., 2015). The need to feel connected to a group of people is enough for students to join student organizations. A sense of belonging and identity are clear drives steering students to these groups (Bowman et al., 2015). Many of these students also disclosed the fact that in joining a registered student organization, they felt like they had a family like they were at home.
Level of Motivation
Registered student organizations usually serve as a gateway to finding one's mettle and drive in the school society. Skills are developed in these organizations that motivate students to be the best versions of themselves (Bowman et al., 2015). The level of motivation exhibited in student groups is usually an enticing reason to take part in the organization's activities. Opportunities for doing risky activities that one couldn't do alone are usually availed (Haber et al., 2012). Students feel equipped to manage anything their professional futures can throw at them after participating in registered student groups.
Level of Participation
Members of these organizations commented on being involved with their particular groups as a fun, exhilarating experience (Haber et al., 2012). Real-world scenarios are always presented to participants allowing them to develop skills that will help them navigate the real world (Smith & Chenoweth, 2015). Such skills, including time management, professionalism, ability to work in a team, delegation, financial team building, and self-confidence are only learned through participation.
The development of skills is one of the best reasons to take to join student organizations. Activities offered usually allow students to acquire, develop, share, and hone skills (Smith & Chenoweth, 2015). Many students share how these learned skills allow them to be better in their everyday lives. Acquiring knowledge and expanding one's interest are among the benefits of taking part in student organizations.
Availability of Resources
Student organization enjoys funding from both government and non-governmental organizations. This funding is usually used to make ready resources that are detrimental to the effectiveness of the organization (Bowman et al., 2015). Availability if these resources attract students to join and expand on their creativity, passion, and drives.
From the graph above, the following hypotheses can be made.
Academic accomplishment and cultural awareness are among the least reasons why student joins registered student organizations. Social experience and the need to belong to a group or a family is a very good reason for students to join student organizations (Bowman et al., 2015). Participating in and horning one's skill with the bid to gain knowledge are key reasons for one to be part of a student organization. Finding motivation and the drive to face one's fears or to delve even deeper into an interest or discipline is another key reason why student's perception of these organizations is high. The availability of resources to venture into one's interest is perhaps the best as to why registered student organizations are popular.
Conclusively, a registered student organization is an incredible way to take part in campus life. These organizations provide opportunities for students to take part in enhanced professional, academic, social, and personal life by subjecting them to relevant group activities and programs. Every campus student is allowed the opportunity and encouraged to take part in these student organizations; it is an opportunity none should pass over if they aim to fully enjoy the fruits of campus life.
Bowman, N. A., Park, J. J., & Denson, N. (2015). Student involvement in ethnic student organizations: Examining civic outcomes six years after graduation. Research in Higher Education, 56(2), 127-145.
Haber, P., Allen, S. J., Facca, T., & Shankman, M. L. (2012). College students' emotionally intelligent leadership: an examination of differences by student organization involvement and formal leadership roles. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 7(2), 248-265.
Smith, L. J., & Chenoweth, J. D. (2015). The contributions of student organization involvement with students' self-assessments of their leadership traits and relational behaviors. American Journal of Business Education, 8(4), 279-288.
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