University of Missouri – St. Louis is home to more than 75 student organizations, and last week, many of them came together at the Millennium Student Center for their annual spring camp, hosted by the Office of Student Engagement.
After a two-week delay due to inclement weather, the MSC Roundabout was abuzz Wednesday as dozens of groups including the Student Secular Alliance, Tritons United and UMSL Social Peers reached out to current students, promoting upcoming events and giving away some freebies.
The Indian Student Association, for example, aims to help the growing number of Indian students at UMSL fit into the campus community, connect them with fellow Indian students, assist with accommodation and provide mentoring. The group also serves as a gateway to connect the Indian community with the UMSL community and contribute to diversity on campus by hosting movie nights and events such as the upcoming Holi celebration. Also known as the Festival of Colors, the ancient Hindu tradition will be celebrated at the UMSL outside the Recreation and Wellness Center on March 8th.
Similarly, President Reza Niazi said the MSA serves two goals: to unite the Muslim community on campus and to teach non-Muslims about Islam. Treasurer Sabrina Krause joined Niazi for the scheduling event, having first been associated with the organization when Niazi gave an open invitation to check out the group at one of their social work classes.
“Not only do you have to be a Muslim to join, but you don’t have to know anything about Islam,” Krause said. “I came to learn, and everyone was so nice and so welcoming. I’ve developed this curiosity and I’m not afraid to admit I don’t know things, and everyone is patient with me.”
KHAOS, UMSL’s K-pop dance group, promotes multicultural awareness and also strives to be inclusive for everyone, from die-hard fans of K-pop to those who love to dance and stay active. Members learn dances to K-pop – and sometimes J-pop – songs and participate in workshops and performances throughout the year. Vice President L. Fisher said anyone interested in learning more about KHAOS is welcome to attend the group’s upcoming Valentine’s Day party at the MSC Pilot House Thursday at 6:30 p.m., which will feature free food, music and socializing.
It was a similar sense of camaraderie that drew Paul Williams to the UMSL chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a coeducational national service fraternity that seeks to develop leadership, promote friendship, and provide service to others.
“It’s a great way to make friends because one of the requirements is to get involved,” said Williams, highlighting the organization’s service events in the community, such as making birthday cards for children in orphanages. “She has wonderful camaraderie throughout the semester.”
President Elexis Hubbard, who first joined APO at Truman State University before transferring to UMSL, echoed Williams’ remarks.
“It really is a great community,” said Hubbard. “You can meet a lot of different people.”