As you may or may not already know, there are plenty of student organizations to join at IU and in the community. The tricky part is picking just a few of them. As much as we may want to do it all, our time is much better focused being a solid part of two or three activities rather than a wishy-washy part of ten. While you should check out IU's involvement page, https://myinvolvement.indiana.edu/sissastd-prd/p/profile.do?methodToCall=campusSwitch&cid=IUBLA to check out the choices for yourself, I want to provide some insight into my activities and why I picked them.
Be sure to research your options to get involved; it's good to do things other than homework!
1) (in no particular order) Jubilee Ministries
What it is: Community organization, young adult group, part of First United Methodist Church.
What we do: Spend time together, eat sandwiches, play games, discuss topics, sing.
Why I picked it: It's easy to lose yourself in college and not when you surround yourself with people who will lift you up and envelope you in their radical hospitality.
Why I love it: We're religious, yes, but we're not preachy. We share our religion through our love for others. This group has introduced me to many great people and opportunities and has even connected me with a small group to meet with each week.
The best event this year: Glow-in-the-dark scavenger hunt, spring break mission trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
What's unique about it: We range from ages 18 to 30, with people both in and out of school, undergraduates and grads, with a wide variety of majors and interests.
How to find it: Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/fumcjubilee, meetings on Wednesdays (two more left this year!) at 7:30 at Bloomington Sandwich Company on Kirkwood.
2) Amnesty International at IU
What it is: Campus, local, national, and international organization promoting human rights.
What we do: We raise awareness for and try to stop human rights violations all over the world. Some of our causes include, but are not limited to, prisoners of conscience (political prisoners), torture, poverty, women and children's rights, and censorship.
Why I picked it: It's so typical to believe that the world revolves around us, around IU, around the US....but it doesn't. There are people in every country on this globe that are being denied their basic freedoms and rights as human beings, rights that cannot and should not be taken away by a government or anyone else. I want to defend those rights-- for all of us. I want to be a person who lives for this whole world, not a person who always lives in their own.
Why I love it: The effects are real. People become educated. Lives are saved. Freedom is preserved. The results aren't just numbers or pictures; they're people.
The best event this year: Our Write-a-thon and giant candle set up in front of Sample Gates, raising awareness for our friends in Vietnam.
What's unique about it: We don't have a lot of money. Actually, I don't think we have any. But we don't need it. We use our words and our talents to raise awareness.
How to find it: Facebook--https://www.facebook.com/iuamnesty, meetings will resume in the fall, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get on our mailing list.
3) Invisible Children (IC) at IU
What it is: Campus, local, national, and international organization.
What we do: promote peace, educate, and rebuild in the areas ravaged by Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, raise awareness.
Why I picked it: Despite the media's recent (and incorrect) negative portrayal of the organization, Invisible Children is so much more than just KONY 2012 hype. Invisible Children started almost ten years ago now, and the love it has shown central Africa is not something any media source can discredit.
Why I love it: We've shown that you no longer need to be the richest or most powerful to be heard.
The best event this year: Frontline and KONY 2012 tours, lobbying in Indianapolis.
What's unique about it: Social media reaches new heights through IC's documentaries.
How to find it: Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/groups/84929256859/, meetings to resume in the fall.
When choosing an organization, it is good to keep in mind...
1) What you stand for
2) What you're interested in
3) If you could see yourself becoming a leader in the group
4) What you have always wanted to learn more about
5) You can always try out a few call-out meetings before deciding