HCSO Club Feature


The Honors College Student Organization seeks to enhance the experience of Honors College students by providing a welcoming environment to build community and opportunities for socialization, service, personal, professional and leadership development and fun.

Club president Jacob Ailts said he believes students should get involved in the HCSO because of the welcoming community of students who attend.

“We strive to provide an inclusive atmosphere where everyone has a chance to connect,” Ailts said.

While active membership and the club’s target audience is limited to students who have taken an Honors courses, club members would encourage any students to attend the events the club puts on during the school year.

Kaya Borg, HCSO vice president, said their goals as an organization are to commit themselves to academics, service and community.

“We strive to provide a social outlet for Honors students to engage in and get involved within the Fishback Honors College as well as other areas on campus,” Borg said.

HCSO planned several events for the fall semester. On Native American Day, the club will have an outdoors adventure day where they plan to visit state park. On Oct. 14, HCSO is organizing a Random Acts of Kindness night to spread the word and encourage students to take part in the Brookings United Way’s Random Acts of Kindness campaign during the month of October and beyond. The Honors Hobo Week Kickoff will take place on the Sunday night before Hobo Week. At this event, students can come eat Hobo Stew and socialize.

A few other events planned by HCSO this year include a Rake Day project in conjunction with Sigma Phi Epsilon Oct. 17, student tailgating at football games and the HCSO Christmas Party  Dec. 2. Borg also mentioned some spring activities in the works.

“In the spring, we have a few more events including the annual Honors talent show, the Honors Semi-Formal and the End of the Year Party. Other academic events we have planned include Study Abroad and Getting Involved information nights, how to reflect honors in your interview and resume night, and an upperclassmen dinner,” Borg said.

Aside from the events, HCSO offers multiple volunteer opportunities as well.

“A couple times throughout the semester we are going to be volunteering with Brookings Backpack Project and the Harvest Table in the Brookings community. There is also a campus cleanup service project in the works as well,” Ailts said.

The club has about 40 dues paying members. However, members are not require students to pay dues to partake in events.

“At some of our small events, we may get between 10 and 20 students and at larger events, we have had between 150-200 students in attendance,” Ailts said.

Borg said students who join HCSO will gain a broader understanding of the Honors College while interacting with other honors students.

“The events are a fun way to network and get to know other students in the Honors College you never would have met before,” Borg said.

For students interested in HCSO, plenty of opportunities are available to get involved.

“We meet for HCSO related business about once a month,” Ailts said. “On average, between social, service and personal development events, we have at least one event going on each week.”

Borg believes students should get involved in HCSO because there is no other organization like it.

“The Honors College Student Organization is a place where we embrace the awkward, we embrace the opportunities and we embrace the future. Honors students can collaborate, explore idea, and take a break from studying to enjoy an inclusive environment where everyone is unique,” Borg said. “My involvement in HCSO has led to my involvement in many other activities on campus and I could not imagine what my college experience would be like if I didn’t begin with this organization.”

HCSO meets on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. once or twice each month.