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Models strut the pavilion of the Fashion Design Student Association's spring show, A Street Style State of Mind, on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. The clothes featured were designed, crafted, and modeled by members of the University of Georgia club. (Photo/Haleigh Terhune)

There are hundreds of clubs and organizations at the University of Georgia. Ask yourself what matters to you, and you will find your niche on campus. 

I want to try something new

College is a time to experiment. There’s probably no other time in your life where you’ll be offered such a plethora of activities and experiences to try. The University of Georgia’s wide array of clubs allows you to learn skills ranging from the intricate to the obscure. A few examples include the Ballroom Dance Club, Aviation Club and Knit and Crochet at UGA.

I’ve got to get outdoors

Head outside with clubs like Block and Bridle, a livestock club affiliated with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. There are also hiking and rock climbing groups, such as the Outdoor Adventure Club.

I’m a jock — but not a D1 athlete

Join one of the 41 UGA club sports teams. This will allow you to hone skills, meet new people and travel to compete. There are lots of options including hockey, lacrosse and rugby.

I’m competitive — but not a jock

Exercise your competitive nature with groups like eSports at UGA or the Board Game Club at UGA.

I want to give back

Take part in large-scale events like UGA Miracle’s 26.2-hour Dance Marathon, which in 2021 raised more than $1.4 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, or the SDT Greek Grind dance contest, which raised nearly $70,000 for Prevent Child Abuse America in 2021.

But fundraising doesn’t always have to be a colossal event. Local restaurants and breweries host percentage nights or benefit concerts in which a portion of sales benefits a club or cause. Many weekends bring a 5K or fun run.

Several groups let you help students or Athens residents. Extra Special People works with a local organization to support people with developmental disabilities.

The UGArden Club works with the student-run organic farm to raise sustainably grown produce, which is then distributed to the community through Campus Kitchen. The Backpack Project of Athens aims to help the homeless population by making care packages and raising awareness.

Too early to think about my career?

Just about every field has a student group. These offer ways to learn about what it takes to move into your intended career. Clubs organize networking events, speakers and workshops. A few examples are UGA’s student chapter of the American Society of Microbiology and the UGA Economics Society.

I want to find a community

UGA is full of students from all walks of life, and there’s no shortage of cultural organizations or communities to join. The Pride Alliance and LGBT Resource Center offer support and advocacy for the university’s LGBTQ community. ASL Dawgs provides resources for UGA’s Deaf community and anyone interested in learning about American Sign Language and Deaf culture.

There’s also a variety of cultural and international organizations, including the Asian American Student Association, the Hispanic Student Association, the African Student Union, the German Student Organization, the Indian Cultural Exchange and the Russian Club.

I’m seeking a spiritual home

A number of religious organizations on UGA’s campus serve many faith communities. The Wesley Foundation, which fills up Tate Grand Ballroom on Wednesday evenings, is one of the largest Christian organizations on campus. There are also more intimate Christian groups including the Baptist Collegiate Ministries.

Many Jewish students will gather at Hillel to enjoy free Shabbat dinners and services, and Catholic students can find a home at the Catholic Center.

The Muslim Student Association is UGA’s primary group for students of the Islamic faith and seeks to be both a network for Muslim students and a voice for their community on campus.

I like to debate

Some of the oldest organizations on campus are the Demosthenian and Phi Kappa literary societies, which fuse debate and discussion with social activities. For a more competitive focus, consider the Mock Trial team.

I might run for office

You can get involved in Student Government Association and represent your class and your interests at the university level. But there are other ways to get involved. The Residence Hall Association represents students in the 22 residence halls. You can take part as a committee member, floor representative or on the executive committee.

Or, can join a group that focuses on your area of study, such as Ag Hill Council, which advocates for South Campus.

This article was first published in The Red & Black's fall 2021 UGA 101 special publication.