The University of Rochester is home to over 250 clubs and organizations that are available for students to join. These can range from academic and professional societies, to performing arts, to community engagement organizations, to sports. There is something for everyone at the University of Rochester, and many students are a part of more than just one organization.
Finding clubs and organizations at the University is easier than it sounds! For a brief overview of them, you can check out the Office of Admissions, Student Groups page, and for a complete list of clubs you can see the Campus Community Connection (CCC) page.
However, looking online is not the only way to find clubs on campus. At the beginning of every semester (fall and spring), clubs on campus participate in an activities fair, usually taking place either on the Wilson Quad, or in the Goergen Athletic Center. This fair is a huge gathering of almost every club on campus and gives students a chance to walk between booths and explore all the different clubs. It is usually organized by type of organization, such as sport or performing arts, so if there is one thing you are interested in, you can find all the clubs in one area. The activities fair is a great way to ask questions and get to know some people in the clubs, as student representatives from each club are there. Usually, they also bring supplemental materials to the fair to help new students learn about the club. You will often be able to join the club’s group on CCC which will keep you in the loop for future messages from the club officers.
After the beginning of the year, most clubs will hold a General Interest Meeting (GIM) for students who are new to the club and want to learn more about it. They will go over what the club does and what it looks like to be a member. Other clubs, such as sports or some dance groups, will hold tryouts in the beginning of the year. After these initial meetings, the club will begin their General Member Meetings (GMM), or the regular meetings of the year. Every club is different and will have different schedules and agendas for each meeting. Depending what you are interested in, the clubs you choose can look different than the rest.
If you don’t join a club at the beginning of the year, don’t worry! Most clubs have nothing stopping you from joining throughout the year. In many clubs, they encourage you to join throughout the year, so don’t be scared about being a new face in the middle of the semester. To get involved, you can join the club’s CCC group, talk to a current member about joining, or look at their upcoming events on CCC. Also, many clubs have an official Instagram account, which often posts lots of events and helpful information about the group. Once you find an event, you can go and talk with some of the members and they can help you get more involved. Aside from online resources, in student life spaces such as Wilson Commons or Douglass Commons, you can often find many posters for various events hosted by student organizations. There are a few display cases, bulletin boards, and chalk boards around campus that clubs use to promote their events, which can help new students who are interested in joining.
Finally, another way to get involved in other clubs is called co-sponsorship. Once you join a club or organization, other groups may reach out for what’s called a “co-sponsorship.” This means that members of your club will attend an event the other club is hosting to support them. This is another great way to explore other clubs and organizations on campus.
The University of Rochester has lots of great clubs and organizations that can fit people of all interests. Don’t stress about joining every club at the beginning of the year, you have plenty of time in your following years at school. Have fun exploring and finding clubs that fit you!