Start a campus club with three chums and $15

Jennifer Sorenson

Helping students be active beyond academics is the goal of one center on campus.
The Campus Involvement Center encourages students to participate in student groups by matching an individual’s interests with one from its list of more than 377 University student groups.
There is a wide variety of organizations to get involved in, such as academic, political, religious and sports groups. Forming a student group is possible for those who feel the right one does not yet exist for them on campus.
“We require three students, $15 and a constitution,” said Vicki Larson, an adviser at the Campus Involvement Center.
The center, which provides small grants, awards and advice to the student groups, is also responsible for a variety of campus events and traditions. Center staff assist in the selection and advising of the Homecoming executive committee, which is charged with Homecoming royalty selection, community service events, the pepfest, bonfire and parade.
Campus Kick-Off Days is also sponsored by the center. Campus Kick-Off Days occurs the second week of classes and includes events to reconnect students with the University, such as New Student Convocation, mural painting on the Washington Avenue Bridge, the “Funk at the Fred” dance at the Weisman Art Museum and an ice cream social on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.
The center also sponsors Campus Involvement and Education Week, which is designed to provide the University community with information about volunteering with various community service agencies.
Besides its major events, the center maintains a campus events Web site. Events are organized by date and time, and readers can find additional information about a specific event — such as ticket prices or parking accommodations.
“The events calendar is a great place for people to connect with what’s going on,” Larson said. The center organizes all campus events into the Gopher Guide, the University’s official campus calendar and resource guide.
The center encourages students to enhance their leadership skills with two events it supports. The Siggelkow Leadership Development Retreat is a weekend event in the spring that allows students to interact with other people from the University while learning leadership skills. The LeaderQuest leadership development seminar and mentorship program is a more personalized, in-depth program that focuses on developing understanding and application of leadership theory.
The center is located at 702 Washington Ave. S.E., Room 11, and its Web site is www.umn.edu/cic.