Participation in collegiate clubs and organizations can make a long-term impact by helping you build the soft skills needed to advance in a professional setting and build a strong network in your areas of interest. Read on to hear from our ASU students directly about how clubs and organizations are enhancing their online university experience.
Creating a sense of community
Creating a sense of community can be a challenge in an online setting. Diana Guitterez, a current ASU Online student pursuing her master’s in social justice and human rights, is a proud member of the Sun Devil Movement for Violence Prevention (MVP) organization. Diana acknowledges the potential barrier, but says ultimately the ability to connect is strong.
“Though building connections can be a bit difficult when joining an organization online, the camaraderie is still there,” Diana said. “Both build communities that share the same ideas and passions, one just happens to be virtual and the other in person. I quite enjoy the community I’ve gotten to become a part of through my computer screen, just as much as when I was on campus during my undergrad.”
Nicholas Furtado, ASU Online Student Government Advocacy Group (OSGAG) undergraduate president, says participation, even in an online platform, can help students feel supported.
“Students should be involved in online clubs and organizations because it builds community, which is extremely important in an online setting,” he said. “It can be overwhelming not knowing anybody in your courses, or sometimes you may feel like you’re going through something alone, but student organizations bridge that gap.”
“The Online Student Government Advocacy Group (OSGAG),” he continued, “ is working tirelessly to ensure that online students have the voice they deserve.”
Choose from a variety of online clubs and organizations
“Online clubs and organizations are rapidly growing at ASU Online,” Nicholas said.
ASU Online currently offers more than 35 organizations for students to participate in, each offering a unique experience to Sun Devils with varying interests — including culture, academics, advocacy and more.
Because of the diverse selection of clubs and organizations to choose from, you can pinpoint what you’re most passionate about, participate in causes you stand behind and acknowledge the areas you want to grow in. Online clubs also cater to students living in varying time zones, making it easier to get involved despite the distance.
“Interacting in a digital space is very similar to interacting in person. We’re students talking, laughing and working together,” Roxanne said. “I think that COVID-19 taught all of us that interacting in the digital space is achievable and effective. Aside from the physical component, we are still Sun Devils making connections, sharing ideas and networking with other students worldwide.”
Lawson Miller, ASU Online student involved in BeYouASU, echoed Roxanne’s thoughts.
“Making new connections and friendships in a welcoming environment is something that is especially important in these unprecedented times,” he said. “BeYouASU is a group that connects online LGBTQIA+ students, as well as students across all of ASU’s campuses. Some of the events we’ve had have included book clubs, Queerspace and LGBT history events,” Lawson said.
Working together to drive social awareness
The true power behind ASU clubs and organizations is how they invite collaboration and pull a diverse group of students together under a shared mission.
Adopting the mentality of getting involved during your college years can create a future roadmap of lifelong community outreach. Kris Ganzel, a current sophomore earning a bachelor’s in astronomical and planetary sciences, serves as the director of operations with MVP Online. He recognizes the impact that a motivated group of students in an organization can make.
“It’s one of the best ways to advocate for change,” Kris said. “I was surprised to learn how much power a student organization has when it comes to effecting change with the administration, and I have personally been able to see real progress in various areas in just a few months at ASU!”
Fellow peer and MVP Online member, Roxanne Wilcox, also believes in the power of student-led organizations.
“Joining Sun Devil MVP Online allows students to unite and advocate against sexual and relationship violence among the Sun Devil community, but also worldwide,” Roxanne said. “As online students, we have unlimited networking opportunities with Sun Devils all over the globe, and we are proud and willing to utilize those connections to foster conversations about violence prevention. A student will gain valuable networking connections and the opportunity to invoke change on a larger scale for an issue that affects everyone.”
Building transferable skills: From students life to professional life
An important aspect of student involvement in clubs and organizations is the opportunity to develop skills you wouldn’t get to otherwise.
“Building connections and spreading the word of your organization are very important skills for members to utilize after graduation,” Diana said. “Networking is such an important skill for one to hold. I think it’s also a great space to be able to grow as a person and understand what you’re good at. As a graduate student, it’s helping me fuel my desire to create change and really solidifying my decision to pursue my degree choice.”
Developing skills like leadership, communication, collaboration and prioritization are vital in a professional setting.
“Leaders can utilize the experience they gain from the OSGAG as an amazing point on their resume to discuss with future employers,” Nicholas said. “It also gives students the opportunity to network with individuals within (and outside of!) their respective career paths.”
Find Your Fit
Creating a memorable experience extends beyond the classroom. ASU Online offers a full suite of resources for students to gain experience in their areas of interest and be an active part of the greater ASU community.
Are you ready to get involved? Connect with your Success Coach or visit one of the resources below to get started.