Find your people in a UK student organization


The UK Greenthumb club sits in parking spaces in the E-Lot on Funkhouser Dr. on UK’s campus for Park(ing) Day on Oct. 21, 2009. Photo by Adam Wolffbrandt | Staff

Lauryn Haas

It only takes one 36-minute walk from north campus to Kroger Field or one trip to Chick-fil-A during lunchtime to grasp the size of the UK.

There are thousands spread across 814 acres, and the task of finding a niche in the mess of it all can be overwhelming. One of the best ways to squeeze the most out of your four(ish) years of college and your tuition dollars is to join a student organization. 

Greek life, residence life and club sports are only the beginning. There are academic groups, various leadership opportunities and political, professional, religious or spiritual options to choose from. Living Learning Programs allow students to live in residence halls with other students of the same major or students with other connections. If you like to plan events, consider joining the Student Activities Board. Want a say in campus decisions? Check out student government. 

Now, the 550-plus student groups on campus can seem staggering, but sifting through the BBNvolved website is the easiest way to find something that meets your interests. There are different branches and categories to narrow the search from hundreds to 44, for example, when searching for “Service/Volunteer groups.” 

The Office of Student Organizations and Activities works as an aid in the sorting process.

“We… recognize it can be overwhelming when looking to get involved to navigate BBNvolved and figure out what organization… to join,” Assistant Director of Student Organizations Caitlyn Walsh said. “We have a program called Involvement Advising that helps students navigate and have a conversation with a peer to find a best fit.”

If you want to get involved, have multiple interests or have any specific questions about an organization, advisers are available to meet in person, over the phone or through email to answer questions and guide you in the right direction. Click here for more information.

The office also offers various resources for current organization members, including locker rentals, printing requests, graphic design services for flyers and logos and leadership programming. Two certified strength coaches are available to help students develop a strong leadership style to lead their clubs effectively. 

“Our office does our best to support all 550-plus student organizations on campus,” Walsh said. “We are really excited about the continued growth of different groups on campus.”

If you’ve spent hours scrolling, have gone through advising and still cannot find a student organization that sparks your intrigue, you can contribute to the growth yourself by starting your own group. There are three minimum requirements: It cannot be a duplicate of an organization already on campus, you must have three student officers to start and you must have one full-time faculty or staff member to serve as your on-campus adviser. 

Once you have a bright idea, your founding members and an adviser, create or update a BBNvolved page and attend a training meeting. 2018/2019 registration for new or returning organizations ends on Sept. 14, 2018. Click here for more information.