Getting involved leads to success

The importance of freshmen student involvement
on campus is mentioned throughout
summer orientation, repeated throughout
the fall activities fair, and emphasized in
the second half of the academic year.

Opportunities to involve oneself in Greek
life, Student Government, athletics, multicultural
organizations, media outlets, and
scholastic societies are almost thrown at
freshmen. Students even have to pay an
activities fee every school year.

Yet with all of this in mind, many St.
John’s freshmen remain uninvolved in
campus activities.

Oftentimes, freshmen resident students
only leave their dormitories to go to class
and to get meals. Many commuter freshmen
act similarly, attending their classes and
leaving immediately after.

In effect, many of these students miss out on
career-building opportunities that serve as excellent
resume boosters upon entering the postgraduate
world. By not involving themselves on
campus as freshmen, these students set themselves
behind the well-established students who
have made excellent networking contacts since
their fi rst semester of college.

In addition, freshmen who fail to involve
themselves in different organizations on campus
never earn the experience of meeting and
working with new people from different walks
of life. Interacting with such a diverse group
of students at St. John’s would be benefi cial
to any student’s college experience, and make
it more exciting and interesting.

St. John’s should hold discussion panels between
upper-classmen and freshmen, so that the
new students would be more likely to realize the
signifi cance of gaining extracurricular experience.
Talking to students who have gone through
the same situation would provide a more personal
impact for the freshmen.

While St. John’s does have a rewards system
in place, the MVP Rewards Program, the
University should give freshmen more points to
spark incentive and recognize freshmen who are
signifi cantly involved on campus. Many other
colleges like Baylor University and Villanova
University offer prestigious scholarships and rewards
to freshmen who demonstrate leadership
skills and experience on campus.

Some experts have recognized this issue
and have approached it with research and inquiry
that has led to some interesting fi ndings
on student engagement. According to nationallyrecognized
professor Richard J. Light, author
of Making the Most of College: Students Speak
Their Minds, fi rst-year student involvement in
extracurricular organizations is among one of
the most crucial factors towards academic and
professional development.

Professor Light also writes that students who
involve themselves on campus early on in their
college careers are more likely to earn higherpaying
jobs than those who don’t have as much
valuable organization experience.

The bottom-line is that freshmen at St. John’s
need to further recognize the importance of involvement
on campus in order to ensure a successful
academic, professional, and spiritual
college experience that will carry on to their
post-graduate careers. In order to accomplish
this, both the students and the University must
meet halfway and work together.