Be involved: organizations to check out on campus


Maya Martinez

Photographers meet to discuss their own work and perform group critique at UMass Boston. Photo by Maya Martinez / Mass Media Staff

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

In a big school like UMass Boston, trying to find clubs of interest to fill schedules and resumesor just for funcan be a bit overwhelming. With over 100 clubs, simply finding an organization to join can be daunting on its own. However, many of the groups at UMass Boston do a world of good both on campus and off, and hopefully you can find some inspiration from a few of these to help you find one of interest.
One of the best resources on campus is U-ACCESS, a student support program open to any and all UMass Boston students. U-ACCESS offers a plethora of support and options to students, ranging from help with food insecurity, SNAP application assistance, free on-campus locker rentals, emergency toiletries and school supplies, legal consultation, and even tax assistance during tax season. However, while these services are essential to students, they are not to be abused. U-ACCESS is to be used when necessary, in order to make sure all studentswhether they see themselves as in need of U-ACCESS or notcan receive their services.
Beyond its support systems, U-ACCESS has plenty of ways to volunteer and impact the UMass Boston community in a better way. The food pantry run by U-ACCESS often needs volunteers to help unload the goods from the delivery trucks and unpack them, as well as people to manage the front desk and stock during day-to-day functions. U-ACCESS offers leadership and academic opportunities by choosing to volunteer, including to become a U-ACCESS ambassador. Ambassadors spread awareness for the program, as well as advocate against poverty on campus. Finally, U-ACCESS always has snacks available, including free pizza a couple times a week, so stop by and bring a friendit’s a great way to gently offer U-ACCESS’ services to someone in need if you know they won’t reach out on their own!
If helping in the community is still of interest to you, but you want to help a younger demographic, check out UMass Boston’s chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls. Strong Women, Strong Girls accepts people of all genders as advocates for the organization, however mentors must identify as female or non-binary, and these mentors will work with students in third to fifth grade that identify as female and non-binary as well.
Within Strong Women, Strong Girls, the young mentees and mentors not only learn to empower themselves through self-confidence building workshops, but also complete service projects, learn about college and careers, and create a safe community for those in the chapter.
“I really enjoy meeting all the different students that join SWSG,” said Strong Women, Strong Girls co-chapter director Madelyn Strike. “Everyone comes from different majors and different parts of campus and has very different reaches, so it’s cool to kinda see that we all are very different in our own ways, but we have the same passion for a mentorship, and kind of building that network together. I feel like I’ve made the best friends in this organization, and it really helps build your confidence and push you to kind of get even more involved on campus when you see what other people in the chapter are doing.”
Strike also noted that Strong Women, Strong Girls is still accepting applications for mentors until the end of February via their UMBeInvolved page, as well as being an advocate for on-campus events such as chapter meetings and tabling. Information for both of these are available via their UMBeInvolved page, which is Strong Women, Strong Girls.
For students who are Blackor a person of color in generaland would like to get involved on campus based on this part of their identity, the Black Student Center offers a safe, welcoming space for them. As the organization states on their UMBeInvolved page:
“We aim to provide a place for students of color to be able to work, relax and communicate with each other outside of their class time, as well as provide meetings to open their eyes to the world around us and how it’s constantly changing. We want our space to reflect on the history of our colored students, but also anyone who is interested in learning about culture through the events we plan.”
The Black Student Center also hosts plenty of eventsboth fun and informativefor all members of the UMass Boston community to participate in. Whether this involves giving away and selling goods made by Black entrepreneurssuch as the upcoming BLK Market on Feb. 22 and 23hosting movie nights and socials, or informational events about the lives of Black Americans in the United States, the Black Student Center has events for everyone’s interests.
For those who love planning and organizing events, UMass Boston has the perfect organization for you. The Student Arts and Events Council plans most, if not all of the free events on campus for students to take part in. Events like the Welcome Weeks during the beginning of fall and spring semesters, movie nights, the occasional craft in Campus Center, tickets to a basketball game or performance, and food trucks are all sponsored by SAEC.
“…When we are not actively working events, our day-to-day activities include fielding outreach and looking into new programs, creating and distributing promotional material, social media management and working with club members,” said Hayley Bartlett, a student coordinator for SAEC. “SAEC members help us to create and carry out our events via bi-weekly member meetings where we brainstorm ideas, plan events, as well as discuss which events our members enjoyed and which ones they think have room for improvement. Our members also help to staff our events through volunteering to help us execute our events such as helping to hand out giveaways.”
Bartlett also stated if anyone would be interested in joining SAEC, they can send an email to [email protected], or stop by their office in the third floor of Campus Center, Suite 3001.02. There are no deadlines as well as no application process to join SAEC, so anyone interested should reach out, since they would love to have new members!
These are just a few of the many clubs and organizations UMass Boston has to offer to its students. Whether you’re interested in joining something based on a part of your identity, an interest or trying to make the UMass Boston campus a better and brighter place, you can probably find some community to join. If not, you can make a club with ten signatures and a faculty advisor! You’ll never know if you can find your niche, though, if you don’t put yourself out there.