Finding Your Community on Campus

todayFebruary 7, 2017 8

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By Alexanrda Cochran
Blog Content Contributor

When you get to college, most people will tell you that you need to join clubs on campus to get a real college experience. For you that means Greek life, to others it could mean a church or fashion group. You’ve probably thought about it but didn’t know where to begin.

I’ve been able to learn so much within one semester because I simply searched on Texas State University’s website for a list of clubs and organizations I could be a part of. Not only will it look great on my resumé, it also gives me a chance to meet new people (hey introverts!) and express myself through several ways: being able to communicate, bringing new ideas and being a part of something.

Feminist United is an on-campus club that meets once a week to discover much more than you knew when you arrived from personal stories and an array of new topics. FemU covers matters such as gender equality, body acceptance, gender identity, proper pronoun usage, appropriation vs. appreciation, animal rights and much more. These are all things related to our lives in certain ways. The more informed you become, the more you’re able to contribute to society in helpful ways. 

A list of guidelines and rules to stick to throughout the day. Photo by Alexandra Cochran.

Additionally, FemU led me into a mind-blowing event named Equality University. This once-a-year conference is free of cost to Texas State students. It is an all day event that provides panels and meetings with guest speakers, a chance to engage with other attendees and explore how all identities affect individual relationships and social dynamics in the world, and also aids to a better understanding of the many identities that make us who we are.  I truly felt fortunate to be able to attend anything like this because there were many who don’t know where to begin with sensitive subject matters, especially when you’re trying to avoid offending anyone. EqualityU offered a safe environment to discuss topics like race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, social class, gentrification and religion without feeling guilty or discouraged. Throughout the event, there were counselors in private rooms available for all your needs throughout the day. A special keynote speaker by the name of Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed stuck out to me specifically. A Los Angeles resident, Ahmed is an activist and founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), that organizes South Asian American youth to have a political voice and get involved in the electoral process. She also shared how important it is to do your own work and to educate yourself in trying times. We spent time recognizing the beliefs of other religions and acknowledge the many differences between cultures. Ahmed also co-hosts a podcast called #GoodMuslimBadMuslim. So basically, she’s a total girl boss and she sincerely inspires me.

All attendees received a recognition of completion from Equality University that I will cherish forever! Photo by Alexandra Cochran.

All in all, I genuinely feel that I have much more successful conversations with peers because of the experience and knowledge I gained from this convention–not only for the sake of learning and the emotional connections I made but for my own personal growth and understanding. I highly recommend experiencing one day out of the year at Equality University, finding a club you can grow from, and ultimately discover new organizations to be a part of.

Featured image by Alexandra Cochran.

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