(Part 3 of 5)
Since graduating from HBU 10 years ago, Mon’Sher Spencer has been part of furthering what was so fundamental to her own time at the University. Spencer serves as the HBU director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs, where she oversees student clubs, organizations, Greek Life, Commuter Life, First-Year Experience, and signature Student Life events.
“When I was a student, I was on the worship team, the recreation team, involved with discipleship, and quite a few areas. I know being part of those things was the reason why I grew as a person spiritually, academically, and in character and maturity,” Spencer said. “Those are the areas I envision the students growing in here as well. I want them to be the leaders they can be.”
Throughout HBU, there are about 50 clubs and organizations, and that number is ever-growing. From the Student Government Association, to Greek Life, to the Student Programming Board, there are numerous ways for students to explore their interests and try out their talents. Of the options, there are hundreds of opportunities to be in leadership roles. “I tell students, ‘You’ve got to get out of your dorm or your house and plug yourself in. The college experience is what you make it,’” Spencer said.
Roles in student organizations facilitate friendships and provide the kind of experiences that make college such an enriching time in a young person’s life. Furthermore, participation gives students a sense of belonging, making them more likely to persevere through obstacles and continue to graduation.
Student Brook Chatagnier said his time as a head musher and a member of the Sled Team, caring for the University mascot, Kiza, is one of the highlights of his college tenure. “I would encourage all students to find the organization that fits them best, and plug themselves into the school,” he said. “You truly get the most out of college by these experiences and the close-knit group of friends you make.”
Student Leah Townsend emphasized that students don’t even have to find an existing group to join, but can formulate one that meets their interests. “If there is a club or organization that you would like to initiate on campus, the doors are always open for that,” she said. “There is something for everyone.”
Spencer agrees. “The benefit of being somewhere smaller is that it’s not cookie-cutter. You’re not just jumping in as a number. You can actually be part of the history, of creating and sustaining something,” she said.
While new traditions are formed, time-honored ones are cherished and continued. Some of those are Welcome Days, a new student orientation event; Spring Fling, a summer kickoff; Homecoming events, International Week, Husky Revue, a talent show; and Late-Night Breakfast, a pre-exam week meal.
And if the Student Involvement office doesn’t host or sponsor an event or organization, they’ll connect students with other departments and resources. “The beauty of this place is that there are so many things to do here and wonderful avenues that students can be part of,” Spencer said. “It’s a place where they can find their niche. There’s support here, love here and a spirit of pride and relationship that I don’t think you get at a lot of other places.”
Visit HBU.edu/StudentLife for more information.