Learn, lead, succeed

"Research shows the retention rate is higher for students who get involved on campus than for those who don't," said Mike Bobeldyk, UNI's Maucker Union associate director. "Research also shows there's a higher graduation rate for those who get involved than for those who don't."

Relay for Life
UNI's Relay for Life is a large-scale event planned, promoted and overseen by students. It's one of many opportunities have through the Student Involvement Center.

Combine these facts with the skills students gain throughout their involvement and you've got a winning strategy for college success.

The Student Involvement Center in Maucker Union is a one-stop shop for students seeking opportunities to lead, serve, make friends and have fun. With more than 250 campus organizations, there's bound to be something for everyone.

UNI has many active, long-standing organizations, such as student government, fraternities and sororities, and the Residence Hall Association. Within the past few years, two new philanthropy-related organizations have come on board, reflecting what Bobeldyk sees as students' passion to give back to the local and world community.

"Many of our students are from small Iowa communities," he said, "and they're used to supporting one another and working together. They bring these same skills and values to UNI."

It comes as no surprise then that two of UNI's newest large-scale events are planned, promoted and overseen by students: Dance Marathon and Relay For Life. During the 2012-13 school year, these two events raised more than $200,000 for the Children's Miracle Network/University of Iowa Children's Hospital and the American Cancer Society.

Helping others is one of the many benefits of getting involved on campus. Another benefit, says Bobeldyk, is that employers are looking for people who excel both in and out of the classroom, and they want to see progressive leadership positions on a resume versus "I was a member of . . ." or "I participated in . . ." a particular organization.

"UNI is a laboratory where students can learn time and life management skills, develop leadership abilities, and learn how to communicate with a variety of people," Bobeldyk said. "These skills are vital while on campus and long past graduation."

Learn more about UNI student organizations and how to get involved at www.uni.edu/involvement.