by Coleen Gabhart
Student and Student Government President, Lafayette
“I only take classes here.”
This is a common response when I ask students about their Ivy Tech experience, and in particular, their on campus involvement.
As the Ivy Tech Lafayette Student Government president, it is my job to make sure that students feel that their needs as students are being met and that their concerns are heard by the Ivy Tech administration. After experiencing the student life available at Ivy Tech, I feel strongly that campus involvement is a necessity in the student experience.
Being involved in campus activities strengthens your commitment to Ivy Tech, gives you a group of people who can support you on your path to completion, and helps you to meet different faculty and staff who can help you in a variety of areas during your time at Ivy Tech.
Our students tend to have very busy lives, and that tends to make them feel as though they can’t participate in events at Ivy Tech.
It’s understandable; most Ivy Tech students work at least one job, and many have children and other familial obligations.
Our Ivy Tech Student Life Directors understand that, and they don’t plan events that would be suitable for only one group of students, like they would at a four-year university. The events are at all different times of the day, so students can catch one between classes while they are already on campus.
There are events in the evening, so even if you are busy all day with classes, you could participate. There are even family-friendly events, like the outdoor movie night at the Lafayette Ivy Tech Building.
Some events aren’t even at the Ivy Tech. For example, at the Lawrenceburg site, Ivy Tech will rent a room at the local theater and Ivy Tech students can take their family to see a movie any time that day, free of charge.
In addition to events, students can also join clubs at Ivy Tech. These clubs vary from campus to campus, and can be major-specific or interest based.
At Ivy Tech in Lafayette, we have clubs ranging from Students for Nursing Excellence, to Latino Student Union, to Debate Club. Being a part of these groups will unite you with your like-minded peers, and give you friends at Ivy Tech. These groups host lots of events and activities themselves. Often, groups perform community service activities, hold meetings, and host parties for members.
If you want to be even more involved with student life at Ivy Tech, you can join the Student Government Association. Each campus is different in the way they organize their student government, so this is only for a general overview and reference.
For details, please email your regional Student Life Director. In Lafayette, we have a president of SGA (Student Government Association) with three vice presidents in the areas of communication, policy, and student body. We also have a senate that meets once a month. Each club at Ivy Tech is required to have a senator who attends these meetings. The purpose of the Student Government is to be the liaison between students and the administration of Ivy Tech. If you enjoy advocating for your peers and improving the Ivy Tech experience, this might be a good opportunity for you.
If you are a student at Ivy Tech and haven’t gotten involved in campus life, I would encourage you to do so.
Visit the Office of Student Life and learn about what they have to offer in the way of events and clubs. If you feel that the current activities aren’t accessible and/or relevant for you and the other students of your campus, talk to your student government representatives. Being involved in campus life will help you to be successful while at Ivy Tech and beyond. Don’t be someone who “only takes classes here.” Get involved in campus life, and experience everything Ivy Tech has to offer.
To explore Student Life at Ivy Tech, use this guide to get started with IvyLife.