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IU offers opportunities to get involved, make friends

POSTED AT 05:40 PM ON Aug. 15, 2011 

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It can be intimidating enough to start at a big school like IU, but it can be even scarier in a totally new country.

Luckily, IU offers students countless opportunities to get involved and make
new friends.

“We see the whole world,” said Sandy Britton, director of Leo R. Dowling International Center. “Our mission is to give international students a home away from home.”

The International Center puts on workshops that enable students to learn about the U.S. classroom, offers tutoring services and conversation clubs so that students may practice new languages or improve their English.

Britton said the center’s staff helps support students and encourages them to get involved with the campus.

The greek system also offers another way to expand a student’s extracurricular activities with fraternity options for men and sororities for women.

“We have students from all different values,” said Ashley Clark, an executive officer from IU Panhellenic Association.

“Regardless of where they are from or background, we learn something from our brothers and/or sisters and from every walk of life.”

About 18 percent of IU students go greek, including the on-campus houses, off-campus houses and multi-cultural organizations.

As a part of engaging in the greek community, a multitude of resources are available both at IU and in Bloomington. Members are involved with volunteering, and philanthropy events. It can even provide connections to alumni and access to jobs.

The IU Usher Corp through the IU Auditorium is one of the most popular student organization on campus, and it offers another opportunity to get involved.

With the benefit of seeing at least six shows for free a year, there is a good reason why about 800 students of all backgrounds come out to sign up.

“We have a very inclusive atmosphere,” Guest Services manager Jennifer Maddox said. “And if you don’t have a friend, it is easy to make a close network of friends.”

Plus, the organization gives back to the community through Habitat for Humanity and community house kitchens, as well as to its volunteers through formal dances and award ceremonies.

Finally, participating in intramural sports allows all students to increase their physical activity and get involved on campus.

Matt Ferdinand, a graduate assistant of intramural sports, said he liked the exercise component to getting involved.

“I am a big proponent of leading an active and healthy life style, and intramurals does just that,” Ferdinand said.

Getting involved in intramural sports is a fairly popular way students get to know
one another.

“Intramural sports is represented proportionally well with the IU population,” said Chance Young, an interim assistant director of intramural sports.

No matter what you choose to get involved with at IU, everyone is connected, Clark said.

“We wouldn’t be here without IU,” she said.

 

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