Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F
Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10, #9, #8, #7, #6, #5, and #4 and are continuing on to #3!
#3: Going to Hampfest, Joining Student Groups, and CEL-1
By now you’ve probably checked out your housing assignment and course schedule for the coming year and are getting excited for what’s to come once your first year at Hampshire begins. So many new experiences are on the horizon, including getting to choose and participate in cool student groups! During your first couple of weeks here, you’ll have the chance to attend Hampfest, Hampshire’s student activities fair, which is held at the beginning of each semester. Hampfest is an opportunity for over 100 student groups to showcase what they do and for you to learn more about each group!
Joining a student group can be a really fun and rewarding way to get involved with the Hampshire community. With such a diversity of student groups, there’s bound to be something that piques your interest. Choose from groups such as Hampshire Animal Rights, Hampshire Students Against Mass Incarceration, Guerrilla Arts Brigade, Hamp History, Sexperts, Local Foods Initiative, Crazy Pitches a capella, Climbers’ Coalition, Hampshire Student Union, and more! You can be apart of as many groups as you’d like depending on your level of interest and how much time you can commit. While some groups meet sporadically, most meet weekly or bi-weekly, so make sure not to overbook yourself – especially with a full class load.
For me, being immersed in a variety of student groups was easily one of the best parts of my Hampshire college experience. My time spent as a member of the Sexperts, for example, was an awesome chance for me to be involved in something that I was passionate about but didn’t have the time to focus on in my academics. Through Sexperts, I was able to be apart of a community that was interested in promoting sexual health education and wellness on campus, and eventually, I was able to lead this student group as a “signer” – which was a great way to build my leadership skills and to also complete my Campus Engaged Learning requirement!
During your first year, you’ll need to complete at least 40 hours of a Campus Engaged Learning activity, AKA your CEL-1. CEL-1 activities allow you to make active connections between your academic pursuits and the other areas of your life. Being involved in a student group is a great way to take care of your CEL-1, although it’s certainly not the only way to do it. You could volunteer at different campus events, like the annual Queer Conference, or take part in the Green Dot Active Bystander Intervention Training. You could even take an outdoors class through Hampshire’s athletic/outdoor program and have that count as credit! Just make sure to be in close communication with whoever is facilitating your activity to make sure that you’ll receive credit for the hours you put in. With that said, happy activity hunting!