Sept. 4, 2020
Contact: Kenny Gerling, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linden O’Brien-Williams, president of the Involvement Ambassadors, said she was surprised to find the organization’s new Instagram account gained more than 500 followers over the summer — despite a student body scattered across the world.
O’Brien-Williams, a senior journalism and Spanish major, thinks the quick growth is telling. “Students are craving social involvement and interaction,” she said.
With Involvement Week running Sept. 4 through 11, O’Brien-Williams said they are committed to helping students find their place on campus — especially now when making connections can be tough. “Getting involved when events are so strictly limited is difficult to navigate,” she said. “As Involvement Ambassadors, we see that as an opportunity where we can make a difference.”
Same consultation, different look
Involvement Ambassadors are a group of experienced students who offer one-on-one consultations and connect other students with the Mizzou community. During these 30-minute sessions, ambassadors assess student interests and connect them with like-minded campus organizations. Consultations are scheduled through MU Connect and can be in-person or virtual — a new option added this semester.
Brooke Lincoln, a junior journalism major and vice president of operations for Involvement Ambassadors, said additional changes have been made to comply with the Show Me Renewal plan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Enhanced safety measures include the installation of a plexiglass divider at the Involvement Ambassador desk, required face coverings for in-person consultations and frequent cleaning between consultations.
Lincoln said, with these precautions in place, she looks forward to helping people build community on campus. “A lot of students may not be thinking about involvement as much right now or they may feel like it’s different because of everything that’s going on,” she said. “But we’ve been creative, and we are still finding ways to get people involved and hopefully feel a stronger sense of belonging while at Mizzou.”
Finding your place
This semester’s Involvement Week highlights some of the more than 600 organizations available to Mizzou students. The weeklong series of fairs and events has gone completely digital, an approach pioneered at a similar fair in July.
One of the main draws of Involvement Week is the Get Involved Fair, scheduled for Sept. 8. The fair is accessible virtually and will serve as a digital meet-and-greet with representatives from different organizations. The three-hour event is divided by organizational categories:
- 1 to 2 p.m. Political, advocacy, religious/spiritual and cultural/intercultural/identity-based
- 2 to 3 p.m. Health and wellness, recreational, arts/entertainment, club sports and Greek organizations
- 3 to 4 p.m. Military, academic and honor society
Riddhi Andurkar, a junior journalism and Spanish major and vice president of marketing and communications for Involvement Ambassadors, said the fair is designed to cater to all levels of students, not just those in their first year. She added that beyond social interactions, getting involved — whether through the Involvement Fair, Involvement Ambassadors or any other campus resource — has benefits that can last a lifetime.
“You can meet different people and make professional connections,” Andurkar said.
“Involvement really helps you find your home away from home at Mizzou.”
For regular updates on involvement opportunities, subscribe to the Involvement Ambassador newsletter. You can schedule a consultation with an Involvement Ambassador through MU Connect, or visit their office in the the Center for Student Involvement, located on the second level of the MU Student Center.