10 major student-run organizations help students get involved on campus
When a new student first steps foot on a college campus they are bombarded with different clubs and organizations doing their best to recruit as many students as they can.
With over 500 groups, it is easy to become overwhelmed and may be difficult to find where you fit in. On campus there are 10 fee-funded or University affiliated clubs that are student run, extremely active around campus, and in some instances, paid.
The 10 organizations are housed in the Student Center North and always accepting applications for new members on their get involved pages. The Cougar talked to all 10 student organization leaders about how students can join, what they do and what their goals for the coming year are.
Student Program Board
Many fun events on campus come from the Student Program Board. SPB organizes game nights, karaoke, roller skating and more events and is a great way to get to know people around campus.
“The Student Program Board puts on numerous events throughout the year ranging from late-night cinema showings to our novelty events like Winter Wonder Land, where we bring around 60 tons of snow and put it all across campus,” said SPB Chair Ed Gonzales. “As weird as this sounds, it is one of my favorite events we do.”
For the upcoming year, SPB is hoping to increase attendance and add more events to their roster. If students would like to join and help they can do so on SPB’s Get Involved page.
Students who join SPB can create their own events for others to attend, Gonzales said.
Every spring semester the University is transformed into a western wonderland called Frontier Fiesta. The three-day event brings games, rides, food, picture opportunities and a headline artist. The entire operation is organized and run by the team of students at Frontier Fiesta. They work for months planning the popular weekend.
It is easy to get involved and those who are looking to join in the next year can contribute to their goal of increasing inclusivity, said Amie Vo, chair of Frontier Fiesta.
“Some of our goals we are working towards accomplishing this year for Fiesta 2020 is to become a more inclusive event by expanding our outreach, increasing cultural activities and partnerships, and engaging with more campus partners,” Vo said.
The event is free to attend for UH students with their Cougar Cards and they hope to keep it that way, while also adding more events and activities for students to enjoy.
“We hope to make Fiesta 2020 the best one yet,” Vo said. “We hope to see everyone there.”
The week of Homecoming at UH is nothing like your high school’s Homecoming. The entire week leading up to the November football game is filled with events, some of which you may not have heard of before.
Homecoming is especially popular with Greek life, but anyone can join and compete in events like Bed Races, building sculptures out of cans, and Homecoming Court.
Students who want to help create events can apply to become assistant directors for Homecoming by going to the forms tab on their Get Involved page.
“As an Assistant Director, freshmen can be directly involved with planning, marketing and running each of the events during Homecoming Week,” said Anthony Salcido, chair of Homecoming.
Assistant directors work under one of four different categories, including planning the weeks events, marketing, spirit and the Homecoming Court.
The events, including a tailgate and Homecoming concert, will be held from November 11 through 16. UH will play Memphis that Saturday.
Council for Cultural Activities
UH is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation. If students want to dive in to the melting pot that is UH there is no better place to start than the Council for Cultural Activities.
The Council for Cultural Activities is a university sponsored organization that promotes cultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion at the University by hosting and supporting cultural and diversity-related events and registered student organizations on campus.
By joining on their Get Involved page, students can take part in helping organize events like Cultural Explosion, Cultural Taste of Houston, Cultural Marketplace and Carnival of Cultures. If it has the word “culture” in the name, CCA probably played a hand in planning it.
Director of CCA Eduardo Abrams said he hopes this year they can educate more students on what they do and collaborate with more organizations around campus.
“(We hope to) create recognition process for CCA member organizations to highlight positive contributions to cultural and diversity-related events on campus,” Abrams said.
Metropolitan Volunteer Program
If you are interested in volunteering to help those around the Houston area, MVP is the student organization for you.
The organization is split into four committees: Health and Wellness, Hunger and Homelessness, Children and Education, and Environment and Sustainability. Students can choose different outreach and volunteer opportunities.
“We host events on average 15-16 events a month for all UH students, and it’s completely free to join,” said MVP Director Ruth Akorikin.
Akorikin said their goals this year are to partner with more nonprofit organization in Houston as well as additional student organizations.
The organization is completely free to join and students do not have to attend every event. To join, search for Metropolitan Volunteer Program on Get Involved and you’ll be approved in no more than 48 hours, Akorikin said.
Activities Funding Board
Sometimes student run clubs cannot fund everything they need to fund. That’s where the Activities Funding Board comes in.
The Activities Funding Board is a sub–committee of the Student Fee Advisory Committee, a committee that delegates money to any fee-funded organization on campus.
The organization allows all student run clubs on campus to apply for $3,000 a year.
“AFB is always looking for hearing committee members, who serve as the decision making board for AFB,” said Christopher Caldwell, chair of AFB. “Students who are interested can reach out to the AFB chair at [email protected] or (832) 842-6238.”
Student Government Association
If you want to be a factor in change on campus, one of the best places to start is by becoming involved with our Student Government Association.
Senators write legislation that dictate how many aspects of campus are run. Students do not have to be voted in as a senator to get involved. Instead, all SGA meetings are open to anyone wanting to attend or even address the senate.
SGA President Allison Lawrence said students can apply to their Emerging Leaders Internship program meant for students new to the organization. Available positions are also on the organization’s Get Involved page.
Lawrence said she hopes the new administration in the upcoming year can follow through on the promises she made while running.
“(The goals are to) support student workers by increasing the minimum wage, expand the Student Health Center to get third party insurance, and create a pool of funding for sustainability initiatives on campus called the Green Fund,” Lawrence said.
CoogTV allows students to see their faces on screen, learn how to work as part of a video production, or even direct and create shows.
As UH’s student run on-campus television station, CoogTV provides video coverage of news, sports and a creative platform for students interested in creating short films, sketch comedy and documentaries.
“This year our goal is to make content that is relevant to the students of UH while providing a creative space for our members to grow in their video production and leadership skills,” said CoogTV’s Executive Producer, Derek Dziedzic.
Students do not need to have experience before they sign up for the organization on their Get Involved page.
“CoogTV is not a major specific organization, so anyone interested in being a part of video production is welcome to join.”
Students who are always asking for the aux cord should look at joining Coog Radio. The student-run radio station allows members a chance to share their music taste, or their thoughts, on the air.
“Students can host their own on-air shows, create their own podcasts, record their own music, and cover local happenings for the blog,” said Coog Radio’s Station Director Davis Darusman.
The radio station often has giveaways to local concerts and events, and is available to listen to online 24/7.
“Coog Radio will be hosting meetings and workshops every other week dedicated to developing skills such as DJing, hosting a radio show, and more,” Darusman said.
If interested in Coog Radio, Darusman said apply on their Get Involved page or email him at [email protected].
The campus newspaper is the oldest student run organization on campus. Whether you are a journalism major or a math major, The Cougar encourages anyone who has a desire to write, to apply.
There are multiple sections that allow students to find their niche. Students can write for sports, opinion and news. If students are interested in life and arts writing they can also apply for the sister publication Cooglife, a monthly magazine.
“Freshmen who want to get better at writing, editing, photography and graphic design will get all the help they need to better themselves at The Cougar,” said Michael Slaten, editor in chief of The Cougar.
Anyone interested in applying for the paper can go to The Cougar’s Get Involved page to fill out an application.
“Everyone here jokes about where their skills were when they joined compared to now,” Slaten said. “It’s a night and day difference when you are practicing and always getting advice to improve yourself.”