Student Clubs provide excellent learning opportunities for COF students

It’s the morning of April 19th and a group of students has gathered on the east side of the Peavy Hall Courtyard, setting up tables and laying out clipboards and pens.

They finish their preparations and take a minute to get some coffee from a nearby carafe. All is quiet, but not for long.

“A lot of people will come after class,” says a young, bearded man in a baseball cap sitting in front of a Forestry Club sign, a pair of logger’s suspenders emblazoned with “OSU” on the table in front of him. He looks down at his phone to check the time. “Yep, just about now.”

As the clock strikes 9:50 and passing time begins, students stream out of the building and directly through the array of tables, each bearing a trifold or other sign declaring the name of a different student club. In attendance are the Forest Utilization Society, the Society of American Foresters, the Forest Products Society, the International Forestry Students Association, and the (aforementioned) Forestry Club. A young woman laughs, takes a pencil, writes her name and email on the SAF sign-up list, and Student Clubs Day has officially begun.

Over the next two hours, dozens more students will attend the event, each of them eager to explore what the College of Forestry (CoF) has to offer outside the usual routine of lectures, exams, and homework. Undergrads learn about the different clubs in the CoF not from faculty, but from each other; at each table are student representatives eager to discuss the purpose and aim of each club with anyone who seems curious.

Olivia Conforti, a sophomore studying Natural Resources (and originally from New Jersey), was excited to check out all of the clubs in attendance. “I signed up for at least four of them,” she says, then wryly adds, “And it’s not just because I enjoying drowning in email.” Fascinated by animals and nature, she has a strong interest in ecology, but can see herself engaging in all kinds of different fields by the time she can take on internships through the CoF. “For me, it would be valuable to have a good background in both wildlife biology and forest ecosystems, and to keep broadening my horizons, I want to learn about everything.”

Auna Godinez, a junior in Renewable Materials, is here representing OSU’s chapter of the Forest Utilization Society, of which she is the current president. As she explains the club to other undergrads, she describes how participating in student clubs is helping her prepare for life post-college. “Everyone knows that joining clubs and being an active member of the University looks good to future employers,” she says. “Not only are clubs great for that, but some of them even offer funding to conferences, which provides further networking opportunities and potential job opportunities.” She glances over as a new batch of students approaches the tables. “I love that we have all of this available to us. It’s one more reason why this is tremendous place to study.”

To learn more about student clubs at CoF, check them out online, or contact the Undergraduate Studies office at 541-737-2004.