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Friday, August 1, 2014

Student Activities Can Enrich Your Experience

Events+Sports+Clubs=Fun

By Nancy Clay

Whether you’re a new or returning student, you owe it to yourself to connect with WCC’s Student Development and Activities office.

Why? Because you’ll likely find a club, sport, social group, event, volunteer activity, or educational opportunity that will greatly enrich your WCC experience and make you a better student.

“We know from student survey results that some students have trouble figuring out where they fit in at WCC,” said Rachel Barsch, events coordinator at SDA. “We also know that students who connect with some activity (and people involved with the activity) do better in the classroom. They stay in school longer. They enjoy their college life more, develop networks, and improve skills like leadership or problem solving.”

Now it’s easier than ever to connect with SDA, which developed a new communication system this summer that allows you to choose how you’d like to receive campus activity updates. The SDA staff promises not to overwhelm your inbox. “We will monitor our posts very carefully to make sure we’re not guilty of information overload,” said Peter Leshkevich, director of SDA.

Sign Up for SDA Alerts

Students can receive SDA alerts by email, text message, on Facebook, and on Twitter. To sign up, visit the SDA Hub website. WCC faculty and staff are also encouraged to sign up for the alerts. “We’re very excited about this new service and really hope WCC students and the rest of the WCC community will take advantage of it,” Leshkevich said.

If you sign up, you’ll have an edge for first-come, first-served situations like ticket sales because you’ll know about them before people who don’t get the messages.

Upcoming student activities also are listed on the calendar on WCC’s website.

What is SDA?

The Student Development and Activities office coordinates opportunities for students in many different arenas, ranging from sports to the student newspaper. “Every year is different at WCC and there’s no ‘same-old, same-old’ feel to the activities available to students,” Barsch said. Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

  • Social activities such as dances, contests, trips, and the popular Welcome Day, which is set for Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 10am to 3 pm in Community Park. It’s located between the Business Education and Gunder Myran buildings.
  • Educational and cultural events, including seminars on topics ranging from finances to environmental issues, trips to museums, and sharply discounted tickets to the University Musical Society, Ann Arbor Civic Theater, and Performance Network, among others.
  • Service opportunities such as working on blood drives that WCC regularly hosts or on community events like the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The SDA encourages faculty to share ideas for new service learning opportunities.
  • The WCC Sports Office, which is part of SDA, has a new coordinator who has been ramping up programming that now includes drop-in sports, team sports, and intramural sports.
  • The Washtenaw Voice, the student newspaper, has won numerous national journalism awards and is published every other week during fall and winter semesters. “Washtenaw Voice students are being actively recruited for journalism jobs because of their experiences here,” Leshkevich said.
  • Orchard Radio, a student-run Internet radio station.
  • More than two dozen clubs and organizations devoted to art, specific academic disciplines, religion, and other interests.

Other Ways to Connect With SDA

In addition to providing electronic alerts and Internet listings, SDA will continue informing students, faculty, and staff about activities through a variety of methods:

  • All students will receive an email newsletter every six weeks and a digital post card update every three weeks.
  • SDA will post flyers on 36 bulletin boards around campus and present video and digital posters on campus televisions.
  • Students are welcome to learn about upcoming activities by stopping in the SDA office in Room 112 of the Student Center building or by calling the SDA at 734-973-3500.

“We’re hoping to add a ‘Meet the SDA Staff’ to our website, because we really want students to feel comfortable approaching us,” Barsch said. “That’s why we’re here—to help students get involved.”

Nancy Clay is a freelance writer.

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