The Last Chapter Pub. (Image courtesy: Emily Blais)

The college experience amounts to juggling class, work, schoolwork, and other obligations. In between those priorities, students take on various clubs, organizations, and sports. They also attend campus events.

While this is the presumed life of a typical college student, participation in various events and organizations has been at a low for the Fall ’22 semester. This leads to the question: what happened to SNHUdent participation?

Traditional events, such as the Involvement Fair and Big Money Bingo, have garnered the expected turnout. However, other events hosted by campus-wide organizations are seeing minimal to no interest.

Radio SNHU hosted one of their most popular events, Name That Tune, in the Pub on October 3; despite high turn-outs in the past, no one showed up to participate in the event.

Attendance to social gatherings has been sporadic due to several factors, as noted by Student Government Association (SGA) President Stephanie Matte (’23).

“From an SGA perspective with our events, participation has struggled a bit but there are a lot of factors that play into [it], weather being the biggest one, but we still had very successful events,” said Matte. “I think the lack of participation may come from the overwhelming feeling of getting involved. I remember my first year wanting to get involved but they were so many things that I wanted to join and I didn’t know which one to join first or try first.”

Nowadays, student schedules are filled with obligations; between maintaining GPAs, work, and other responsibilities, there is little time to partake in on-campus activities. Accessibility to campus events vary, most commonly involving timing. Many are held during class time. Others are held at night, making it more difficult for commuters to join. Even residents prefer to remain in their dorms rather than go out.

For many new students, it can be overwhelming to be thrust into many new opportunities. It equally amounts to being unsure of what events are or what they have to offer.

“The beginning of the year is always tough for Penmen Pride events as new students don’t know what the program is. However, I think we are finally getting to the point in the year where most students know what Penmen Pride is and go to events where they know they can earn Penmen Pride points,” said Matte.

While some organizations have faced struggles with seeing attendees at events and meetings, other campus establishments are thriving.

One of the most popular events on campus that has seen consistent attendance is Thursday night karaoke hosted by Phi Delt. Traction to this event is boosted by the “wet” shift at The Last Chapter Pub.

Other organizations, such as CAPE, also continue to see traction toward their events.

“Event attendance this year is better than ever. Students have been interested in our events, new and returning,” said CAPE President Nicholas Gaston (’23). “Last year, we were having a hard time getting students to our events because of COVID protocols, so it is nice to see the spring of student life this academic year.”

Getting involved on campus is important because it allows students to discover their interests, help them with their career pursuits, and create connections with their peers. Joining campus organizations can help a student make friendships that last throughout the course of the college experience and beyond.

Attending events are also a great way to be active on campus. For one, SNHU hosts many events that can assist a student in their future endeavors, such as the Career Fair. However, that’s not the only way students can get out there. Taking part in non-academic events is a great way to take a break and even reward oneself for an accomplishment.

College is for experimenting, which is why it’s essential for students to join extracurriculars and attend events. Everyone has adult responsibilities on campus, so joining in on-campus activities provides a rest from demanding schedules. They’re a great way to bond with peers and let loose.