As if they didn’t already have a lot on their plates, this year more UCSB undergraduates have been sampling from the smorgasbord of leadership opportunities and student clubs available to them.
According to the Office of Student Life, between 25 and 50 more student organizations registered during the first two weeks of this academic school year than did during the same period last year. OSL currently reports over 250 student organizations actively operating on and around campus.
OSL Associate Director Miles Ashlock said student involvement in nearly all UCSB organizations, especially those falling under his departments — Greek life, leadership development and student support services — has significantly increased since the start of this quarter.
Various groups registered an increasing number of club members this year, Ashlock said, and programs with little previous recognition have grown rapidly within the last month. According to Ashlock, 90 students have already confirmed intent to attend an OSL leadership challenge workshop, which has usually attracted just 20 to 30 participants.
Danielle Quinonez, a Walter H. Capps Leadership intern, said OSL will host the free workshop on Nov. 13 for students to interact with potential employers and attain job-seeking skills.
“We find more ways to connect students to leadership development and programs and establish and enable [career] skills before the real world through workshops,” Quinonez said.
According to Director of Greek Affairs Carola Alden, there has been a steady expansion of the Greek sphere in recent years. Two thousand students belong to the Greek community this year, a spike of about 400 Greeks since 2005.
“I have a hunch that people are looking for community,” Alden said. “Students find that community in Greek organizations.”
Alden said she has been working the Panhellenic Council to ensure the school’s Greek houses follow local and national policies.
While regulating Greek life grows more complex as participation increases, Alden said the council strives to maintain order in sororities and fraternities.
“[We are] looking for the council’s best interest,” Alden said. “Panhellenic has been looking for more alignment with policies and they’re doing a good job. We are holding the council accountable for the university policy in place and the national policy.”
In addition to overseeing campus activities, OSL also provides the student body with e-mail updates, links to student resources and the After Dark calendar, which promotes alcohol and drug-free weekend activities. It also oversees leadership internships that allow participants to create workshops and resources for students seeking jobs and careers. For more information, visit www.sa.ucsb.edu/osl.