Saturday, January 29, 2022
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Student involvement rebounds during first semester back on campus

In light of the two-year coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 fall semester is the first time that many UMKC students have regularly been on campus. It’s also the first time these same students have been able to get active in campus life, like freshman Landrea Van Mol. 

Van Mol is a psychology major that has spent her first semester living in the dorms. She lives in the K.C. metro but chose UMKC for its unique blend of arts and sciences. With smaller class sizes and a focus on research, she said UMKC seemed like a great choice. 

Van Mol is also running for an officer position for Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society on campus. She was at a Roo Connection Day in the summer walking by the different organizations and saw Sig Tau’s tri-fold board, decorated with the favorite movie posters and album covers of members. She was enticed by the events and people of the organization. 

“‘Conscious Cinema’ — how cool does that sound?” Van Mol said, mentioning an event series that the organization hosts. The event series strives to host discussion around films’ themes or cultural critics. 

Van Mol just happened upon the organization’s first meeting, but is now running for Sig Tau’s executive board as either the social media coordinator or historian, or as she said, “Anywhere I can help.” 

Two other students have similar success stories of joining campus organizations in their first semester. Ethan Miller, a freshman computer science major, and Ashley Appleberry, an undecided freshman, both participate in the Super Smash Bros Club, an organization for playing Super Smash Bros with friends. 

Miller, who does not live on campus but extends his time on campus to meet and play with the group, ended up joining the Super Smash Bros club after walking past one day. They meet in UMKC’s student union near the Jazzman’s café to play on the TVs there. Miller saw the group playing the game, and they welcomed and included him.

Appleberry, on the other hand, lives on campus and came to the group through an encounter with its organizer. She enjoys Dungeons and Dragons and sought out a group on campus that had related activities. Using RooGroups, Appleberry discovered the GamerRoos organization and went to one of their regular meetings.

“I attended the table-top night, and they were really fun,” said Appleberry. 

It was at one of the GamerRoos game nights that Appleberry ended up playing a board game with a member of the Super Smash Bros club. This interaction brought her to their evening gaming sessions and introduced her to the other members of the organization.

Even with the previous shift to virtual interactions and classes, campus activities are able to return, and organizations continue to grow and include new members.

Get involved with any of the above organizations via RooGroups.

rbskf9@umsystem.edu

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