Students rally students
to get involved on campus
By Catherine Harper
Texas State University values diversity on campus, and the more than 300 different student organizations reflect this diversity. According to Abel Valencia, president of the Student Organizations Council (SOC), campus diversity creates a more interactive list of activities.
“Diversity is what makes up a university and helps it grow,” Valencia says. “Texas State is a very diverse campus, and with such a broad list of student organizations, there’s a lot of different activities to get involved in.”
SOC is a student-run organization guiding student involvement on campus. With a tight-knit staff of students, the SOC oversees all of the organizations that are registered at Texas State, and encourages students to get involved.
The council is part of Campus Activities and Student Organizations (CASO) along with the Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA), raising awareness and funding for organizations through planned events and resources provided by Texas State and CASO.
Valencia says the CASO office is working to establish a “standards of excellence” system for student organizations — a system, adopted from the Greek organizations, which guides integrity and fairness concerning the use of resources. Advisors Brenda Rodriguez, the assistant director of the student organizations and Greek Affairs at Texas State, and graduate research assistant Jade Martinez often help set the council in the right direction.
While overseeing registered organizations, SOC also plans activities and events that bring members together and raise awareness of organizations, including travel conferences and events for student organizations on campus.
The council hosts events on campus ranging from Cocoa Boko, an annual chocolate cook-off competition in LBJ showcasing student talent, to the Fall Organizations Fair, which is set to have the theme “There’s an Org for That” on Sept. 7-8. For SOC, the Fall Organizations Fair starts off the year by increasing awareness of student organizations.
“The Fall Org Fair is a great way to get students interested in getting involved,” Valencia says. “We usually enlist local vendors and have a lot of great organizations that heighten student involvement.”
Another event hosted by SOC is the Org Olympics, which allows different organizations to compete while working together and getting to know one another. According to Valencia, the diversity of the event helps students to find more value in their participation by working among others with different interests.
In Valencia’s experience, getting involved on campus is one of the best ways to make long-lasting friends and networks after college.
“Joining an organization is the best way of finding similar interests with others and finding out more about yourself,” Valencia says. “It can also help you after college by networking with peers in your field and finding a job.”
Updated on 7/28/11 to correct the SOC’s “standards of excellence” policy and operations.