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Student Activities & Leadership Programs staff work to inspire excellence in student leadership development and programs outside of the classroom. Our staff members provide the support and services to students and to student organizations that allows them the freedom to realize their goals. Student Activities & Leadership Programs enhances student learning and personal development, teaches effective citizenship and advances diversity within our community by:
- Coordinating major campus wide events like Bronco Bash and Homecoming
- Advising and providing support services for nearly 300 student organizations
- Coordinating campus wide leadership development programs
- Supporting Kanley Memorial Chapel and religious activities.
- Providing volunteer opportunities to students and Volunteer Services for local non-profits.
With nearly 300 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) ranging from College Democrats/Republicans to the Biology Club to the Soccer Club, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved. The wide variety of student organizations includes:
Our Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosts both a movie series and an evening comedy club throughout the semester. In general, sports are widely available and volunteer opportunities are vast in the surrounding Kalamazoo community. There are endless opportunities to hold leadership positions in student organizations, which will help you learn more about yourself and others around you. If you plan to live in the residence halls, you also have access to numerous programs and activities designed to enhance and support your academic and social experience at WMU.
- Academic and Professional
- Faith and Spiritual
- Fine and Creative Arts
- Sports and Recreational
- Fraternities and Sororities
- Special Interest
- Cultural and International
Approximately 70% of your time as a student will be spent outside of the classroom. While some of this time will be spent studying, eating, and sleeping, we hope that you will also take advantage of opportunities to get involved and have some fun. By getting involved you will have the chance to meet new people and make new friends. You’ll also have a competitive edge when it comes time to find a job after graduation. It’s a fact that today’s employers look for individuals with more than just a good GPA. Active involvement in co-curricular activities is a key factor in many hiring decisions. In addition to having the best time of your life, national studies show that students who are involved in campus activities generally stay in school longer, are more satisfied with their college experience, and are more likely to graduate. Studies also show that a tremendous amount of learning in college happens outside of the classroom.
Since up to 70% of your time in college will be spent outside of the classroom, it is essential that you achieve a good balance between your time in and outside of the classroom. You'll have many choices to make about how you spend your time While academics should come first, there is still ample time for involvement.
There are so many activities right on campus, having a car is not essential. For those activities that extend out to the surrounding community, the Kalamazoo Metro Transit bus system is available and free to students. Some student organization activities do go beyond the boundaries of the local communities, e.g. trips for the ski club, and you may at times need to find your own transportation.
While we try our best to provide you access to information on campus events and activities, investigating opportunities for involvement takes some initiative on your part. Many RSOs host their own websites that provide essential information about becoming involved with the organization. Hundreds of student organizations host tables at Bronco Bash – WMU’s annual student organization fair – held on the day fall classes begin. Stop by and learn about the many student organizations you can join. Information and a list of activities and student organization meetings are posted daily in the Western Herald, WMU’s student newspaper. Also, if you live in the residence halls, your Resident Assistant (RA) is a great source of information for getting involved on campus.
Students typically choose to be involved in activities and organizations that fit their particular interests and needs. Some things to consider when choosing how to get involved are:
- Academic major
- Personal interests or hobbies
- Opportunities to hold leadership positions
Our RSO site has information about development advising. Or if your ready to start a group visit our Step-By-Step Instructions for Registering Your Group on the RSO site for more information.
From Baptist to Lutheran to Buddadharma, there are over 30 campus ministries at WMU. Campus ministries actively plan events, services, prayer vigils, and retreats. Visit www.wmich.edu/activities/kanley for a full listing of campus ministries and faith and spiritual student organizations.
Joining any student organization is a way to make WMU a little bit smaller and more personal. Being a member of a fraternity or sorority, i.e. Greek life, offers opportunities for friendship, campus involvement, pride, leadership, networking with alumni, academic programs, athletic competitions, and community service. It's a way to find your niche at a great institution. When considering membership in one of our 36 fraternities and sororities, you'll find that these organizations may help you to excel as a student at Western Michigan University. Since 1950, Greek organizations have been valued and respected members of the campus community. In fact, many of our university administrators and faculty are fellow members and alumni.
- What is the average GPA for the chapter?
- What is the GPA for the chapter’s most recent membership class?
- Does the chapter disclose the contents of their pledge / new member program?
- Does the chapter tell you the date of initiation?
- What percentage of members are involved in other student organizations?
- Is there a live-in-house requirement for membership?
Will this organization help me successfully complete my studies and start my career after graduation?
There is a minimum 2.5 high school and 2.3 college GPA requirement to participate in fraternity recruitment (some organizations may have a higher GPA requirement). Sorority GPA requirements vary per chapter. Recruitment traditionally begins at Bronco Bash – WMU’s annual student organization fair – held on the first day of fall semester classes. Hazing is strictly prohibited by WMU and by individual fraternity and sorority headquarters. In addition, WMU sororities may not attend functions at fraternity houses where alcohol is present. Fraternity and sorority mixers where alcohol is present may only be held at licensed facilities within the community. In addition, WMU’s Greek community hosts some alcohol free chapters.
Student Activities & Leadership Programs staff are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM and can be reached at 269-387- 2115. We are located in room 223 in the Bernhard Center. Please call or stop by if we can assist you in any way.
Participation in Fall Welcome will help you to develop the competitive edge and lifelong relationships that will make you successful at WMU. Fall Welcome is a four-day program that assists first-year students with their academic and social transitions to college life. Building on the foundation created at summer orientation, Fall Welcome will connect first-year students with WMU, other students, faculty, and staff. All first-year students interested in getting a head start on their college careers must attend Fall Welcome.
Parents, guardians and other family members of WMU students are eligible for free membership in the WMU Family Connection. Simply register your e-mail address and you will receive news and information of interest to parents and family members, along with invitations to special seminars, activities and events, including the annual WMU Family Weekend. With your membership card, you will be able to take advantage of member discounts at participating area hotels, restaurants and businesses.
Student Activities & Leadership Programs makes it easy for you to get involved. There are over 300 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) at Western Michigan University. Visit the Student Organization and Administration Program (SOAP). Just click search to get the list of currently active student organizations registered with SALP. Get the meeting times and contact information for each organization. Check out the Fraternity & Sorority Life website to find out all about the Greek organizations on campus. You can earn valuable leadership experience by being involved in various campus programs such as First Year Experience, Orientation, and Volunteer Services.