Danielle Cabrera fell in love with libraries as a student at Mt. San Antonio College.
While there, she developed an interest in researching and befriended the librarians. She carried that love with her to Cal Poly Pomona when prior to transferring to the university in 2020, the psychology senior met the librarians at CPP and found out about the Library Club. That networking opportunity led to a leadership roll for Cabrera, who serves as the club’s president and champions the University Library’s benefits.
“It’s all about what the library can offer you,” she said. “The library is for everyone.”
Involvement in campus clubs and activities plays a key role in student development, including both learning and personal growth, according to La’Keisha Beard, interim associate director of student life and cultural centers.
“Connection and engagement are important because they support student retention and graduation,” Beard said. “Engagement also helps students develop skills that will support them beyond the university as they enter the workforce or attend graduate school.”
Those who are more active also tend to be more knowledgeable about how to navigate campus and where to go if they need additional help, she said.
“Students that are involved have a stronger sense of belonging. They tend to more aware of and connected to campus resources,” Beard said. “Getting involved is a great way to connect with campus faculty and staff.”
Vanessa Perez, outreach supervisor of Associated Students, Inc.’s Bronco Events and Activities Team (BEAT), got involved two to three years ago when she attended a volunteer program and met ASI staff members. BEAT promotes student engagement, school spirit and personal development on campus through live and virtual events.
“You need to put yourself out there,” Perez said of getting involved. “It’s not hard to take the first step.
The university provides many opportunities to take the first step, including the MyBar website where students can type any topic —from self-care to math to horses — that might interest them in the search box.
For those not sold on joining a club just yet, the MyBar events page includes both on-campus and online events that students can filter by dates, themes, and even the perks of attending.
Events on campus this year will have to follow the best practices set by the Safer Return Task Force. All events are required to have a list of attendees that includes emails and phone numbers. All attendees must complete a campus or guest health screener prior to attending, as well as wear face masks and practice social distancing.
Zane Landin, president of the university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, said although COVID has changed the way clubs do things, they still provide community and an opportunity to get involved.
“If you feel like being somewhat social but don’t want to leave your house, you can find an online event to attend.”
There are more opportunities online now than before for students who are more introverted, Landin added.
Another benefit of joining a club is networking opportunities.
Networking allows students the opportunity to meet other students and professionals with the same interests and provides students with both the resources and support they need to reach their future goals, he said
“Joining clubs and student organizations is helpful with networking and meeting new faces,” said Landin. “Joining clubs and student organizations to meet like-minded people is important and hopefully, can help you feel a sense of belonging at the university.”