Hannah Littleton photo
Jordan Pelt, a senior digital forensics major from Tusca-loosa, Alabama, and vice president of the Film Club, films a comedy skit at a meeting.
As he made his way through the Trojan Center, speaking to acquaintances and friends at almost every turn, Jermaine Van Buren realized that Troy University had become a community for him — a big difference from his first semester on campus.
Van Buren, a theater major, had started here as a freshman from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with hopes that Troy University would feel like home. Like many new students, he found it challenging to become acclimated to his new environment.
Two and one-half years into his college experience, Van Buren reflected on the benefits of getting more involved with student clubs and organizations.
“I came to Troy from Mississippi,” he said. “That’s a long way from home. So, when I actually began taking part in campus activities, I met so many new people and that’s when Troy really started to feel like a home away from home for me.”
Van Buren served as vice president of Troy’s chapter of the NAACP in 2017. He was a senior in the spring and was involved in several campus groups, including Campus Outreach, a Christian fellowship outreach group.
Troy’s campus has over 150 organizations, groups and clubs to offer students. Below is a sampling of organizations and clubs that students can easily get involved in.
American Muscle is a student-led workout group that meets weekly on campus. Morgan Robinson, an exercise science major from Pensacola, Florida, who was a senior in the spring, said it is a great way to meet new people while acquiring healthy habits.
“You have people to push you on a consistent basis,” Robinson said. “You have the chance to gain community service hours, there are leadership opportunities, and you always have friends that you can go work out with, so there’s no excuse why you can’t stay active.”
American Muscle meets weekly to hold workouts at Walt’s Gym in Troy, on the Bibb Graves quad, and at other locations across campus. Students can join simply by showing up consistently at meetings.
Troy’s Student Government Association works to meet student needs and interests daily.
Jasmine Canlas, a major in global business and risk management and insurance who is from Birmingham, Alabama, and was a junior in the spring, has been a member of SGA for three years, each year serving a different role.
“I started out in Freshman Forum,” Canlas said. “I’m biased, but I think that starting there is a great way to get a feel for the structure of government and parliament.”
Freshman Forum is a selected group of delegates who serve their class and the community while gaining leadership skills.
In the spring, Canlas served as the student life committee chair in SGA. She said the responsibilities of her position entail “being an advocate for a better on-campus experience and meeting student needs.”
“If a student is complaining about needing more bike racks on campus, we get to see the whole process of implementing the changes,” Canlas said.
Canlas also shared a message for anyone who may be considering getting involved in student government.
“Just do it,” Canlas said. “You have to be sure that you are doing everything for the betterment of the student body. It’s such an honor to have that responsibility.”
101 ELITE Men is an organization that focuses on character building and community service-oriented deeds. The organization was founded at Troy in 1992 as a mentoring group for African-American men after Assistant Dean of Student Activities Derrick Brewster and Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. saw the need for it.
Today, the group includes male students from all backgrounds who work to build one another into well-rounded and polished men. 101 ELITE Men meets twice a week in a semi-formal setting where guest speakers often come to speak to the members and encourage discussion.
The group also serves the local community through Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Club. Ryan Jackson, a computer science major from Rios Ochos, Jamaica, who was a senior in the spring and president of the organization, talked about the highlights of his role within the group.
“The most rewarding part is the experiences and involvement,” Jackson said. “The type of people that you get to meet being involved in the organization allows you to make great connections. The people you get to help along the way also makes being a part of this organization really rewarding.”
One of the group’s recent speakers, Ronald Howell II, a Troy University graduate, gave a summary of his life achievements and discussed the importance of networking in college.
The Film Club at Troy is looking for members interested in learning more about video creation. Jordan Pelt, a digital forensics major from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who was a senior in the spring and the vice president of the Film Club, is urging those who are interested in the field to join.
“We make a bunch of short films together,” Pelt said. “You pretty much learn how to become a director or camera operator, and you learn how to write scripts. Sometimes we have pizza nights where we just hang out and watch short films.”
Filming TEDx, comedy
Members of the Film Club publish original content regularly. Last year, the group collaboratively filmed a TEDx Talk that took place on campus. The group wrote, produced and published a “mockumentary” (a comedic mock documentary) in the spring of 2018.
“If you really want to put something together, we definitely have the equipment for that,” Pelt said. “There are a lot of freedoms.”
Students in the Film Club can also play roles within the films they create. They often do acting and improvisational exercises to sharpen their skills in comedy writing and acting, providing insight on every position in the field of film production.