Make the most of your university experience
By: Emily Macdonald, Staff Writer
The Lakehead Orillia campus has significantly more opportunities than most students would believe. With our main campus only having 3 buildings, people might wonder how would clubs and extracurricular activities really function? Since our campus contains mostly commuter students with comparatively fewer students living on campus, the interaction here can be tough; however, twenty-two clubs run on campus directly with the Lakehead Student Union in Orillia (LUSU), and two additional clubs run through LUSU Thunder Bay as a branch, providing lots of opportunities for campus involvement.
Though many students are unaware that these clubs even exist, campus clubs range from the Orillia Pride Club, the Multicultural Association, dodgeball, the Orillia Christian Club, an animal activist club known as SETA, and even two history-based clubs. So, there really are opportunities for every single student who enters through the doors to our Orillia campus!
A lot of commuter students, both upper and lower-year, had some surprising ideas about the clubs on campus. While speaking to first-year students, many shared similar statements. Sandra Stawecki said, “Socially, I’ve barely met anyone besides a few students from my classes. Since I commute, I find it difficult to interact with new people and have not yet been involved in any sort of activities, organizations or clubs, primarily because of the lack of advertisement.” This statement slightly contrasted with what upper-year students were saying — as their time at Lakehead has gone by, the club life has become more interactive and they have had a greater involvement.
Aleesha Gostkowski, a fourth-year criminology major and founder of the “Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals club” (SETA), commented about campus events and the Orillia club scene: “When I first transferred here, I immediately felt welcomed and informed about campus happenings. I did notice, however, that either there was a lack of events or a lack of advertising for events over my first year here. I noticed in my third, and now fourth year, that events are popping up more frequently with a LOT more student involvement.”
Gostkowski and her group make classroom visits to promote their events. She says: “It wasn’t until I met friends in clubs, or witnessed club tabling events, that I was able to find more information on clubs and how to join. All of this information inspired me to start my own club, SETA, which I am actively trying to promote (especially to first-year classes) to ensure awareness of clubs and how to get involved.”
Making friends through clubs and having a better student social life on campus seems to be a great opportunity for commuter students for whom general sense of involvement appears to be a concern.
A few other ideas came up such as holding events during accessible daytime hours, as many people prefer going home after classes, rather than waiting around for events to start. Better advertisement, through social media and class visits, might also be helpful. Club members can also promote their activities by getting their professors involved, especially if it goes along with what they teach.
Do you want to get involved and join some awesome clubs on campus? It’s pretty simple. You can just type “Lakehead university clubs” into Google and you’ll be brought right to the club page. Click on “Orillia” and look through all of your options. Most of the clubs will be in contact with you within forty-eight hours. Joining clubs on campus is a great way to make friends and to get involved in our campus life!