Kaleb Dothard, a freshman accounting student from Moline, and Jazmin Torres, a freshman elementary education major from Moline, speak with a representative from the Special Olympics during SIUE’s Volunteer Fair.EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students were presented with ample opportunities to add value and purpose to their higher education experience during the Student Organization and Volunteer Fairs held Monday-Wednesday, Aug. 28-30.

The Student Organization Fair showcased a sampling of the University’s more than 300 student organizations. According to Michelle Welter, associate director of SIUE’s Kimmel Student Involvement Center, student organizations are the most popular way students get involved on campus.

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“We are here to empower the campus community by hosting inclusive events and offering a safe place for students to engage with each other,” said Virginia Williams, a junior nursing major representing Black Girls Rock. “Being involved in this organization has relieved some of the stress I have from classes and helped me make new friends.”

Kassie Jeralds, of pre-pharmacy major from Royalton, signs up to learn more about G.I.R.L., a new student organization founded by junior mass communications major Dejanee Callahan.“Our organization helps students network with professors and business professionals,” added Alexander Frank, a junior economics and finance major, who was recruiting students to join the business organization, ELITE. “All of the business professionals I’ve talked to say it’s important to be a well-rounded student. This organization allow students an opportunity to stick out to prospective employers.”

More than 40 local nonprofit and government agencies filled the Morris University Center’s Goshen Lounge for the Volunteer Fair to connect with students and make them aware of ways they can gain knowledge and skills, and make a difference in the community.

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“It’s my first year at SIUE and I’m eager to get involved and find ways to help people,” said Jazmin Torres, a freshman from Moline, as she engaged with representatives from the Special Olympics, Make a Wish Foundation and Dance Marathon. “I’m excited to go to these meetings and learn more about how I can make an impact.”

“College students are wonderful, often untapped, resources that can give back to the community,” said Aimee Williams, volunteer coordinator and secretary for SNIP (Spay Neuter Illinois Pets) Alliance and the Riverbend Pet Food Pantry.

“We always welcome students with certain skills and talents to host workshops, and help us provide more programming for our patrons,” added Lara Jennings, director of the SIUE East St. Louis Learning Resource Center. “We have general volunteer opportunities and service projects that we can partner on. These experiences build students’ resumes and help us provide important services to community members.”

For more information on community engagement and involvement opportunities, visit siue.edu/kimmel/.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 14,000.

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