By Garrett McGinley
Blog Content Contributor
Starting at college is an exciting personal milestone, and hopefully the beginning of the most memorable four years of one’s life. However, it can also be an overwhelming time of transition and personal growth. For many of you, this will be the first time you are away from home for an extended period. While the freedom this new lifestyle brings may be appealing for some, for others it is intensely daunting.
Rest assured in knowing these struggles are a common experience among college students, and that there are many resources, through the university and the community, available for you to use when needed.
Attorney for Students
This group offers free legal counseling services to all currently enrolled students at Texas State. The Attorney for Students office offers counsel on lease reviews, criminal law, family law, employment law, consumer and civil matters, contract law, simple wills and name and gender marker changes. Starting in fall 2019, the office will be adding a part-time lawyer with an expertise in immigration law. AFS is veteran friendly, a safe space for DREAMers and an LGBTQIA ally. All information is protected by attorney-client privilege and is treated confidentially by all personnel. Although AFS does not provide in-court representation and cannot make court appearances on behalf of students, the office can help students find outside agencies and private attorneys for those matters.
Student Media (KTSW, University Star and others)
Ever wanted to be a “fake news” purveyor in the “lamestream” media? If yes, then these are the organizations for you. I have had the privilege to work for both the University Star, Texas State’s newspaper, and KTSW, Texas State’s radio station. I know firsthand that both organizations are full of incredibly passionate and hardworking individuals that are willing to help you refine your craft. No experience is needed to join any of the entry level positions in these organizations, and the connections you make could be invaluable to a future job search.
Student media at Texas State goes beyond just KTSW and the University Star though. Click here for a more complete list.
Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (S.C.O.P.E.)
Student Community of Progressive Empowerment is the first student organization officially recognized by the university to serve and support undocumented and DACA recipient students at Texas State. The mission of S.C.O.P.E. is to create a secure network for undocumented and “DACAmented” students at Texas State to meet and share relevant information with each other and supporters. The group also promotes various external resources intended to assist affected students and works to increase the number of safe spaces for DREAMers on campus.
Due to respect and confidentiality of current members, information on meeting times, dates and locations are not openly posted. For more information visit the webpage or contact the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. Membership is open to all individuals of all backgrounds including nationality, citizenship status, race/ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, age and ability.
The Counseling Center
The Counseling Center offers free and confidential professional counseling as well as online mental health resources to currently enrolled Texas State students while classes are in session. Services include brief individual, group and couple’s counseling, consultation and crisis response and various workshops about stress management and other mental health topics.
For those interested, call 512 245 2208 or visit their office in LBJ Student Center 5-4.1., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those seeking group counseling or couple’s counseling should alert front desk staff.
Student Recreation Center
The Student Recreation Center is an expansive exercise complex located in between the Bobcat Soccer Complex and the School of Family and Consumer Sciences on the far west side of campus. Students enrolled in at least one credit hour at the San Marcos campus automatically pay the recreation fee and have access to the SRC. The center includes eight basketball/volleyball courts, four multipurpose studios, a sizable weight room, six racquetball courts, a cardio area, an indoor track, a rock-climbing wall, an indoor swimming pool and equipment check out services.
For more information visit their site.
Athletics, Intramural Sports and Sports Clubs
Texas State is home to number of athletic clubs, involving a wide variety of skill requirements. The highest-level teams are NCAA affiliated and highly competitive; more on those can be found here. Sports clubs and intramural teams are a step below NCAA teams, but still a fun way to be active and meet new people. Texas State is home to 33 sports clubs, from baseball to Quidditch.
A complete list of sports clubs can be found here.
Want to work with some of Texas State’s greatest minds to help create a better campus? Then student government might the place for you. Student government’s mantra is “students serving students,” and it works to establish avenues for student involvement in university affairs, acts as servant leaders to the student body, and represents the students as our constituents. Freshmen looking to get involved could join the Freshman Council. The Freshman Council is the voice of the freshman class, and through petitions and by working directly with the student body president, Freshman Council members are given the ability to help bring forth change. Selection to the council is based on your application, resume, and interview. For questions regarding the Freshman Council contact Director of Freshman Leadership Matthew Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org. All other positions in student government, besides Supreme Court appointees, must be elected by student body or appointed by the President and approved by Senate.
For more information visit the student government website.
Texas State boasts nearly 300 different student organizations. From the Meditation Club to Hip Hop Congress, if you can think of it, there is probably a group at Texas State for it. Student organizations are a fantastic way to meet people with interests similar to your own.
For a full list of student organizations at Texas State, click here.
The Honors College is a community of students of all majors that are seeking more from their studies. Honors College students take small seminar-style classes where they discuss ideas and raise questions stimulated by readings, field trips, and presentations. Incoming freshmen seeking to enter the Honors College are expected to meet or exceed some requirements: top 10 percent of high school graduating class, ACT composite score of 27, SAT score of 1270 (taken after March 2016), SAT score of 1200 (taken before March 2016 and calculated as the Math + Verbal scores) or Completed the AP Capstone Program. Transfer students and currently enrolled students should a GPA of at least 3.25. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
For more details email email@example.com or call 512 245 2266.
Healthy Cats is a peer educational group that strives to support the academic and personal success of all students by providing public health leadership to the campus community and accessible, inclusive health and wellness services. They do so through by hosting preventative and educational presentations and events addressing a variety of health issues: violence; nutrition; stress and time management; sexual health; alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
Those interested in joining should attend a meeting, which happens at 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday at the second floor of the Student Health Center. For more information, visit their site or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.