New semester, new hobbies

By Katherine Clayton Lifestyles Editor

SDSU offers students clubs, organizations and weekend classes that encourage active participation in their college career

The beginning of a semester means the beginning of new experiences and the chance to do something different. Students have the opportunity to join clubs, get involved in events on campus and try an activity.

“Students who are more connected and more engaged in extracurricular activities on campus are more likely to persist to graduation,” said Nick Wendell, the director for the Center of Student Engagement. 

South Dakota State University offers students a variety of different opportunities to get involved on campus through clubs, which range from departmental organizations to cultural organizations to special interest groups. Students can participate in intramural sports or participate in weekend classes, where students can take for a break from their hectic schedules.

“If another one of your goals is to secure employment after graduation, being involved is another great indicator of success when it comes to placement after graduation,” Wendell said.

Getting involved shows that students are willing to go beyond just doing classroom work and utilizing the activities on campus.

One student that is heavily involved is Tyler Hajek, a junior sport, recreation and park management major . He is the University Program Council President and is involved in Delta Chi, the Honors College, FCA, track and field, Cru, Oasis and State-a-thon.

“You learn so much more about yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone,” Hajek said. 

Hajek said that he had the opportunity to try something new by joining UPC. 

“I’ve never had to create an event from scratch,” Hajek said. “With this position [on UPC] you kind of have to be out in the open.”

The hardest part of being involved, according to Hajek, is management and picking what events and meetings are the most important to him. 

While involvement has benefits when students are in school, it can also impact their future.

“[Getting involved] contributes to your success in college but also your success after college that you’ll find long-term employment in a job you love because you’ll have some experiences, you would have built your network, you will have developed skills all across the board,” Wendell said.

Involvement is not limited to just being on an executive board of a committee; students can be involved in a short class on the weekend, which could become a life-long hobby.

Stacy A. Aesoph, the marketing and development coordinator for the South Dakota Art Museum, organized an event that allowed students, Brookings community members and people from other towns to come to the museum and develop their painting skills by participating in an event, on Jan. 24, hosted by Uncorked Creativity.

“[The event] allows people to interact with art no matter what your skill level is,” Aesoph said. “[The attendants] walk away with artwork they accomplished and bring out their inner artist.”

Uncorked Creativity costs $40 with most of the fee going toward supplies that the attendants use to create the painting. Uncorked Creativity, owned by Tali Paulson, donates a portion of the fee to the art museum. Paulson gives simple instructions for people who don’t have any experience painting and she tells the audience to make the painting their own by adding their own personal touches to the artwork.

“It’s a great time to just have fun with your friends,” Aesoph said. “It’s another fun activity available for students on campus.”

Aesoph said the target age for the event is for people 30 to 50 but students are encouraged to come. Attendants paint and drink wine. She prefers attendants be 21 since alcohol is served, but they also serve water and snacks.

“I’ve never painted in my life and I thought this was a great way to get introduced to it,” said Laura Heibers, a resident of Webster, S.D. who traveled to Brookings to come to the night of painting.

The art museum has other opportunities for students to get involved. There is a chocolate auction, which will be held at the museum on Friday, Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m. where students can also come meet artists.

The Agricultural Heritage Museum also offers opportunities for students to learn about new topics while visiting a historic building on campus.

Carrie VanBuren, the collections curator for the Ag. Heritage museum, put on a presentation about different types of cloth sacks called Chicken Linens on Jan. 29.

“The program came out of a small exhibit we had done … and just looking at our seed sack collection,” VanBuren said.

The collection at the Ag. Heritage Museum had a variety of feed, flour, sugar and seed cloth sacks. 

VanBuren said that the museum tries to do an event or two each month.

“If you’ve got ideas for programs and exhibit topics, please come in and talk to us,” VanBuren said. “No guarantee that we’ll be able to launch it immediately but we certainly like knowing what people want to see and what they want to do and people are going to be seeing a lot of changing in this facility.”

Wendell said involvement is not limited to joining a sports club or joining a club. Being involved can look different for each student and students have the chance to look at different organizations, clubs and activities to find out what they enjoy and what suits their schedule.

“[SDSU] … has a mission to serve the people of the state of South Dakota and to be an accessible institution to all,” Wendell said. “We have a responsibility to create citizens of the world and so I think involvement in extracurricular activities impacts who our students are and who they become.”