It’s nine o’clock on a Friday morning as I enter the spacious and bright Involvement Center, there is very little that is going on, most of the noise I hear comes from the outside area of the lower part of the Memorial Student Center. I sit at one of the square wooden tables on a swivel chair and look around the room. What I am greeted with is a large circle like space that is adorn with lockers on the outside. The middle of the circle adorns a large flat screen TV that is turned off with many empty arm chairs surrounding the TV. On the other side of this middle piece lies a Creation Station. The more I look around I notice the many offices that are on the outskirts, each of these offices hold an important person or organizations on campus. I sit and wonder what it would like to be a part of the groups that meet here and what it would like to become more of an insider of the Involvement Center.
The Involvement Center is the home to many organizations and groups on campus. Anyone and everyone is allowed inside. The center is open Monday through Thursday nine am to seven pm and on Fridays nine am to five pm. Stout’s Involvement Center always has a lot going on inside. Whether its students studying with friends, getting together for a meeting, or making new friends. Their mission is for Stout students to become engaged in campus living, get help outside of the campus, and to prepare themselves as citizens (Involvement Center).
Ally Initiatives, Blue Devils Production, and Stout Student Organization are the three enormous organizations and discourse communities that live in the Involvement Center. Each of these organizations have their own literacies that they use when discussing their organization. Ally Initiatives is a very important group on campus, their mission is to lead civil rights by creating events and programs to inspire justice and respect for all (Ally Initiatives). The Involvement Center also cares a lot about leadership and they want all of the students on campus to become the best possible leaders they can possibly be, The Bold Project is the Involvement Center’s way to promote leadership development. The Involvement Center also has an additional meeting room where groups and organizations can borrow for their meetings. The Involvement Center is also the home for each organization and group’s mailbox. It also includes a large Creation Station where students, members, and leaders can use different crafting tools to create posters, cut-outs, or use different size paper trimmers.
Orgsync is a social media site that many colleges use including UW Stout where it shows all the organizations and groups on campus, gives a description on each one, and allows you to join the group or organization online. This allows you to look into the groups and organization on campus before joining them. Once you find an organization or a group you can join one or a few on Orgsync and you will be allowed to see the upcoming meetings and events that are going on and it also makes becoming an insider of a group or organization easier. Orgsync is an amazing website that allows Stout students to get involved on campus.
Whether an insider or an outsider there are many discourse communities on campus that most likely have something that could interest anyone. Each of these communities and organizations are aimed towards the students in our campus community. The Involvement Center puts on many different events and activities that are aimed towards many different people on campus.
Earlier this school year I went to one of the events the Involvement Center put on called Pinterest Craft night. The overall experience was very enjoyable and the staff who were running the event were very helpful. There were three different projects that they provided all the items to make; t-shirt headbands, tall glass candle holders, and wall-art. When it came time for all the different discourse communities attending Pinterest Craft to get their supplies for it was very chaotic, it seemed like everyone wanted to do the same thing as I did which was the wall-art. There was a huge group of girls around the table talking with an excited tone to their voices. You could hear the people using different literacies to pick out their supplies for their projects with their discourse community members. I picked out my supplies quickly not exactly knowing what the outcome of my wall-art was going to look like. I walked back to my table of friends and sat with them and spent the evening crafting. It was a very enjoyable evening that the Involvement Center put on it and did not cost any of us students a thing.
As I was observing the Involvement Center a few questions came into my mind. I already knew that if you wanted to borrow the meeting room all you need to do is hand over your student ID. But what I didn’t know if there were any special requirements when it came to using the Creation Station. I asked the desk worker “Is there any special requirements or items you need to use the Creation Station?” The desk worker replied “Nope, everyone’s allowed to use it, but if you need any help using it I can help you.” I let her know that at the moment I was not going to use the work station but I thought that it was extremely nice of her to offer me help on using the Creation Station.
I wondered what groups and organizations had their mailboxes inside the Involvement Center. I look at the wall of mailboxes and saw that almost all the groups and organizations on Orgsync had their mailboxes here. The staff of the Involvement Center are very nice and seem to be extremely helpful which I think makes the overall experience enjoyable.
On November 20th, I went to the Involvement Center, this time to use their Creation Station and I had a friend go along with me. This was not my first time visiting the Involvement Center, but my first time using the Creation Station. Emma and I were using the die-cuts for the first time to create snowman, snowflakes, trees, clouds, and little house for the bulletin board that our floor has. This experience we didn’t have anyone to help us, but there were a lot more people using the Involvement Center. The television was actually on this time and there was a lot of chatter in the air.
Emma and I were having a difficult time when it came to using the die-cut machines. We would try and try again and the snowman would not come out. I told Emma “I think we have to press down like four times to get the cut-out to be perfect!” Emma pushed the handle on the die-cut four times, “This is like an arm workout” she said laughing. As she pulled the board out from the press, and took the cover off we saw that the trick actually worked and the snowman cut-out actually came out extremely well. We both did a happy dance and went back to making more cut-outs that actually ended up coming out just the way that we wanted them to.
The Involvement Center is a place that promotes leadership and involvement on campus. They want Stout students to have the best possible college experience and have all students be involved in at least one group or organization. These groups and organizations help broaden your horizons on campus and allow you to make more friends and be a part of something that truly interests you. These groups and organizations also allow students to become insiders in many different discourse communities, and it can give you knowledge on things you never thought you would know. I think that everyone should at least stop in and check out what is going on in the Involvement Center or at least attend one of the events that they put on.
Overall I don’t consider myself to be one hundred percent an insider of the Involvement Center, I’ve been there enough to know what goes on there and get a jest of the people who are normally in the there. I would consider myself about forty-five percent of an insider of the Involvement Center, I would love to get more involved with the events and activities that take place there. If any of you ever get the chance to stop in or attend one of their events you most definitely should. The Involvement Center is opened every week day Monday through Thursday nine am to seven pm and Fridays nine am to five pm.
Involvement Center. “About Us.” University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2014
Web. 22. Nov. 2014
Involvement Center. “Ally Initiatives Mission Statement” University of Wisconsin- Stout, 2014
Web. 24. Nov. 2014