Go beyond the classroom
More than 400 student organizations flourish on campus, including groups like Off-Off Campus, an improvisational comedy group in the tradition of Chicago’s own Second City (which had its origins at the University of Chicago), Doc Films, the longest continuously running student film society in the country, and University Theater, a student-run theater company that puts on 30 shows a year. Students organize and run fourteen fraternities and seven sororities and volunteer groups such as MetroSquash, Alpha Phi Omega, Health Leads, and Habitat for Humanity.
Some groups—like Model United Nations, the national champion Debate Society, and the winningest college Quizbowl team in the world—have long traditions of award-winning in regional and national competitions. Others spring up wherever student interests, backgrounds, or future plans come together, such as Jugglers Enriching Lives Like Yours (JELLY); Ludic Union for the Investigation of Gaming Interfaces (LUIGI), a club devoted to studying, developing, and designing video games; the African and Caribbean Student Association; the Chicago Shady Dealer, a satirical newspaper; and Eckhart Consulting, which works with industry professionals to provide pro bono consulting services to campus organizations, nonprofits, and professional entities.
Learning more and getting involved
In addition to student organization they join, most students will take part in a range of activities organized throughout the year in their Houses. In most cases, getting involved in a student organization does not require any prior experience, making it easy to explore new interests. Clubs are open to students regardless of major—for instance, you could join the University Symphony Orchestra whether or not you are a Music major.
Starting your own
Registering a new student organization is easy. Find a few friends, fill out a few forms, talk with your adviser in the the Center for Leadership and Involvement, and voila! You’ve started a new organization.