One of the greatest things about Southern Utah University that is really different from any other university is our clubs and organizations as a way to get involved on campus. Since it is such a small college town, there really is a community surrounded around the clubs. The great part is anyone can join any club and you can create one of your own with just five people and a faculty advisor and voila! You’ve got a club!
When I was a freshman I came to SUU knowing no one. My very first semester I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and the type of person I wanted to be. My second semester I joined one of the organizations on campus, Alpha Phi. Alpha Phi Fraternity is a Greek organization whose aim is to create better women focused on the values sisterhood, service, scholarship, leadership, loyalty and character development. If you meet anyone who’s Greek you soon learn that they are INCREDIBLY passionate about their organization. Their Facebook profile is filled with pictures of Greek letters, events and other members. On Mondays you see them nicely dressed with pins on their lapels. On any given day at the gym you’ll see the treadmills sprinkled with grab-a-date, rush or philanthropy shirts. It probably at times gets a little annoying but there’s a simple explanation as to why they’re so passionate.
First I’ll let you in on a secret: college is hard in a lot of different ways. Don’t let this scare you! Let me go on.. Most of us are living on our own for the first time. It is the time in life to figure out what you want. You learn what you want to do with the rest of your life and you study it, and study it for four years. Making sure you get all your credits, cramming for tests and so on. Not only that but you’re managing your own money, you’re living in your own apartment, you have your own job to pay for everything, you’re learning time management, how to handle life’s challenges and you’re determing the direction your life is going to go. Most importantly you’re away from your family. For me, it’s four hours away, from the people who pick me up when things go wrong, who celebrate over accomplishments, who will laugh, cry, smile with me and the people to enjoy life with. Though nobody can replace family, that same bond is what’s found in Greek communities. Friends that turn into families who will buy you a Starbucks mug when you bomb a test, who will take seven hour road trips to Disneyland, stay up late making Walmart runs for cookie dough and pizza, who will cry with you when your heart is broken, who will belt out 22 just as loud as you, who will plan an entire week devoted to Halloween complete with pumpkin carving and Tuacahn’s Thriller, who will one day be your bridesmaids, who know you and most importantly who will support you through life.
That is what I’ve found and this is my family away from family.
Greek is not for everybody and that is ok! Because there are so many other ways you can create your family. This is why clubs are amazing. You find that same bond and you find friendships that you maintain for the rest of your life. LDSSA and Club Newman share a common bond through religion and I know so many people, including myself, who have found their closest friends through these organizations. SUUSA is an opportunity for those interested in leadership to hone their skills and spend days working and creating friendships with their fellow leaders. If you’re nervous about making friends or finding your place at SUU, don’t be! There are over a hundred clubs from Greek organizations to the Triathalon Club to the My Little Pony Club (yes, there is a My Little Pony Club!). Everyone can find their place, find where they belong and find their family away from family at Southern Utah University.