USC is proud to have nearly 1000 student clubs and organizations across our campus, which encompass the school values of engagement, respect, inclusivity, leadership, and service. In this week’s blog, we will highlight a few of the organizations that USC students are passionate about and provide information about how new and current students can join clubs on campus or even start their own!
At the beginning of each semester, USC holds a two-day Involvement Fair, in which all kinds of student-run clubs and organizations are represented to enable interested students to learn about these diverse opportunities or sign up to get involved. The Campus Activities Office also maintains a current list of the more than 1000 registered student organizations on their website that includes a point of contact for each club. These organizations range from academic, professional, and service/volunteer in focus to cultural, religious, and performance-based. Alternatively, if students have an idea for a new club that they would like to start at USC, all they have to do is find three other interested students and a faculty or staff sponsor and they can work with Campus Activities to get it off the ground. Some of the perks of becoming a registered student organization can include access to an official USC e-mail address for the group, space to meet on campus, funding resources, and help with safely planning field trips and events. Lastly, the engageSC website provides a one-stop shop for current students to explore organizations, join or create their own, connect with students or access event calendars, and apply for funding.
During the Involvement Fair this fall, I had the opportunity to meet with student leaders from some truly unique and engaging campus organizations. Below they provided an introduction to their clubs and shared some of the reasons as to why they chose to get involved:
I’m the founder of Applab, an org that focuses on mobile app development. Mobile development is a way to create social impact–and that is a major reason I founded this org. I’ve been passionate about giving back, especially since we’re in such a privileged community as USC. So many people have phones in their pockets, and the potential is awesome. We can help people break unhealthy habits and teach them a new skill or language. This semester, we’re focusing on React Native, a cross platform app development framework that allows you to develop for iOS and Android. Throughout the semester, we also host many tech talks and recruiting events from tech companies, including Google, Obsidian Security and Beartooth. At the same time, our club operation also has a philanthropic side. We’re partnering with non-profits and social enterprises to offer app development services free of charge. It’s a great way for our members to apply what they’ve learned to build a real world app, and help out the community at the same time.
Rahul Francis (Junior) / Queens, NY / Business Administration (Major), Computer Programming and International Relations (Minors)
Model United Nations of Southern California (MUNSC) has been a part of my USC life since my first semester on campus. As a team, we travel around the country researching and debating international politics: everything from historical events like the Congo Crisis, to topics like public health or environmental sustainability at a global level. Through MUNSC, I have been able to learn more about the world and build a network of like-minded individuals––not just at USC, but also at other top universities nationwide. On top of all of this, our team is also a close-knit family, and has become such an important part of my undergraduate experience. I couldn’t be more proud of what our team has accomplished these past few years, and I can’t wait to see where we’re headed!
Trojan Actors for Film and Television (TAFT) is USC’s first organization for students pursuing a career in acting for film and television. Our organization seeks to provide creative and professional opportunities for our members through events with casting directors/agents, scene studies, and guest speaker panels. I decided to start this organization after several of my friends at USC reached out to me saying they wanted to pursue a career in acting for film/TV, but they didn’t have the resources or knowledge to know where to start. I realized that there lacked a centralized community for film/TV actors, so I reached out to my friends at USC who are also working film/TV actors and we founded this club together. I am so proud of our founding E-Board members, who have all starred in impressive shows such as MODERN FAMILY, GREY’S ANATOMY, and MASTER OF NONE while simultaneously being students at USC.
Last fall, I decided to join Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) Law Fraternity as a transfer to USC. PAD is a pre-law club that has speakers (or panels of speakers) come in weekly from different fields of law, giving members a chance to see what field they are interested in and network. Besides this, there are also social events through the club (Invite, Retreat, etc.), making it a good way to meet new people. The best part of being a part of PAD is the opportunity for leadership. After being a new member last fall, I was able to apply and obtain the position of a new member advisor in the spring, and now have worked my way up to VP!
Michelle Marcial (Sophomore) / Oakland, CA / Latin American and Iberian Culture, Media, and Politics, Sociology, & Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Change (Majors)
I am a part of Hermanas Unidas (HaU), an organization on campus that aims to create a safe space for women of color at USC by creating social, academic, and community service events that revolve around their interests and needs. Although traditionally we cater to the Latinx community, we have an open door policy where anyone is welcome to be part of our Hermandad – no rushing, educational process, or pledging needed. I joined HaU because it satisfied my need as a freshmen spring admit to find a club where I get to de-stress and socialize with people who can relate to my experiences and culture. We hold weekly meetings on Wednesdays evenings with study hours afterwards and we also have study hours every Monday night. Additionally, we create events that are usually on different days and times so that anyone who can’t make it to our meetings has the opportunity to spend time with us! If you want to get to know us more, check our social media (Instagram, Facebook) and feel free to contact us with any questions through those platforms.
Giselle De La Torre (Junior) / Dallas, TX / Sociology, & Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Change (Majors), Education (Minor)
Latinxs Empowering Academic Progression (LEAP) is a student organization that was established by myself and two other USC students (Cindy Andrade and Jacquelyn Gomez) in fall 2017. LEAP is dedicated to increasing the number of low-income and/or minority students in higher education. We decided to start this organization because we believe education is one of the most important human rights and vital for any chance of future success. LEAP seeks to inspire and empower underserved communities to pursue higher education through panels, tours, and workshops, because it is those communities that have the most limited amount of resources to succeed in education.
We hope this article inspires you to learn more about the extracurricular opportunities available at USC or even start your own club or organization! See you at the next USC Involvement Fair!