Samantha Loff, a graduate student from Dothan, is the leader of the Rubicon, which is the student-run literary journal, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society.
Loff said she’s “seen the difference that motivation can make.” Sigma Tau Delta has begun an “aggressive” petition asking for a student lounge in the English Department.
“We are motivated and inspired and can do anything,” said Loff, whose major is teaching English to speakers of other languages. “That goes back to the power of participating in organizations.”
During IMPACT orientation, freshmen will have the chance to become part of organizations and possibly make waves like Sigma Tau Delta.
Troy University has about 150 student organizations. Some are academic-oriented, some service-focused and some entirely based upon common beliefs or causes. Others are fraternities and sororities.
“The benefits of joining an organization are endless,” Loff said. “Not only are you surrounded by other students with similar interests, but you have the opportunity to form professional, personal, or even, yes, romantic relationships.”
Organizations can also cultivate interests in specific fields or careers.
“For example,” Loff said, “I was in the Sound of the South (the marching band). I was never a music education major, but I have so many friends in the field.”
Loff recommends joining multiple organizations.
“Join anything and everything. Go Greek, go Pre-Law Society, go LARP-ing (live action role playing), or go create a new organization.”
Jessica Long, the president of Troy Anime Manga Enthusiasts, did just that.
“It takes more drive than anything,” Long said. “You’ll have to make a club constitution, and this part takes a lot of revision.
“The hardest part was advertising and getting it up off the ground, much like a kite. You have to tug a little, force it up off the ground, and then rely on the members to keep it up and soaring. It has easily been one of the most rewarding things to happen in my college career.”
Sadaris Williams, the university’s event management staff member responsible for helping new clubs take off, said organizations can mold students.
“The biggest advice I can offer is to find other students who share similar goals and interests in an organization,” Williams said. “Secondly, set goals and plan events for your organization to reach during the school year. This will help keep your organization alive and active.”
Your ties to an organization can extend beyond graduation.
“Once you’re a member of Kappa Delta, you’re always a member of Kappa Delta,” said Christy Jones, who graduated in spring 2013. She is now a Spanish teacher at Charles Henderson High School in Troy. “You never stop being a part of the sisterhood.”
Jones said that her experience in Kappa Delta brought her out of her shell, and that it helped that she could recognize members of her sorority in large classes.
“You’d be surprised how encouraging and helping fellow Greeks can be when it comes to other organizations, class projects or just needing someone. I was in Freshman Forum, and being Greek helped me not be too shy to run for secretary.
“Also, when it came to fundraisers or events for other groups like Women’s Initiative and Relay for Life, my sisters and fellow Greeks were the first ones I asked for help and the first ones to volunteer.”
A list of student organizations can be found at trojan.troy.edu/organizations/index.html.