Getting Involved Leads To College Success

Getting+Involved+Leads+To+College+Success

Isabel Shaw and Giulia Campora, Staff Writers

“Being president of WILL (Women in Learning and Leadership) has opened the door to so many opportunities, and we’ve accomplished so much,” said Amanda Zelevansky, 19, president of WILL and a business administration major from Howell. “What is so great about WILL is the freedom members have to express their ideas. With the support from our adviser, Professor (Roseanne) Alvarez, WILL members came together and made our ideas for events and club activities a reality.”
There is a strong correlation between student club participation and student success. Students from different backgrounds, interests and ages work together and, in the process, form bonds that enrich student lives in new and unexpected ways.
Participation in campus clubs gives students an opportunity to acquire leadership, planning and social skills that are important for successful living. Students learn how to work as part of a team toward a common goal.
Studies have shown that students who are involved in clubs and organizations during their college experience demonstrate higher levels of development in many areas, including psychosocial development and life-planning skills.
When students feel connected to their college through club involvement, it increases the student’s probability of graduation. According to a Northern Arizona University study, belonging to a student club or organization increased retention by 86.3 percent.
Club participation may also boost grades. An extensive study on student academic performance by Amy L. Hawkins of Purdue University, demonstrates that “involved students tend to achieve a higher level of academic performance as indicated by grade point average. Officers within a club or organization perform even slightly better academically, with the officer’s grade point average positively affected.”
While club participation positively affects grades and personal development, one of the most compelling reasons to join a college club is the peer support club members provide to each other.
“Peer support is a huge benefit of joining a club. WILL produces actual change, both on a local and global scale. I am so proud to graduate as a member of this club knowing I left an impact on Brookdale. None of this would have been possible without the positivity and encouragement of my peers who made my time leading WILL one I will never forget,” Zelevansky said.
Regularly scheduled club meetings provide a platform for friendships to develop through the shared interest of the club.
“Everyone gets a bad grade, has an awful boss or must deal with pressure from parents,” said Jeanette Falotico, president of TIN (The Innovation Network) and a journalism major. “Having a support system like a club with members that listen and can relate is the key to a successful college experience.”
The devastating psychological and emotion toll COVID-19 has taken on the student population is well documented. Clubs give students a chance to move beyond that loss by providing opportunities to safely interact and socialize with other students.
“In a time of Covid mental exhaustion and anxiety, attending club meetings and events became more of a peer support initiative,“ Falotico said. “I found that the underlying theme of TIN was the idea of belonging to a pack where you could share experiences in a nonjudgmental environment.”
Brookdale’s Student Life and Activities supports over 40 clubs and organizations. Depending on a student’s interests or goals, participation might include sharing thoughts with the school newspaper, “The Current,” or hosting a slot on Brookdale’s radio station, 90.5 the night. There’s a club for outdoor adventures, dance and theater, food-related clubs, science and environmental based clubs, community service opportunities and more. All clubs are free to join, and welcome new students throughout the year. For more information: https://www.brookdalecc.edu/student-life-activities/clubs/