By Jared Singh | Contributing Writer
I am a first-year freshman in my first time in Hawai‘i and my first time working with Kapi’o News. But here I am taking a chance and trying to embrace a new way of thinking.
Thanks to BOSA, the Board of Student of Activities, there are a lot of firsts, but I don’t have to take them on all by myself. Being a part of student club has already opened doors for me with a school job, a new group of friends, and the belief that it’s OK to move out of your comfort zone. College isn’t just about the scholastics, and while it can be a big part, it’s the social aspects that will probably stay with you a lot longer and make for a much more rewarding experience.
I am an international student from Canada, which isn’t that international, but I have earned a diploma in Creative Advertising and a bachelor’s degree in Communication. One of the biggest things learned was that post-secondary education is an amazing experience when you put more into it the process. Not only are you learning new skills, but your experiences are opening and changing. You are beginning to take form of the person you want to be and not just the person you are. A great way to further those experiences is to join a club.
Clubs turn your interests or activities into something more, something beneficial something fun. Here at KCC, if you can get three other friends interested in starting a club, half the work is done. Now you can pick what you want to have a club about. If you all share a love of sandwiches, surfing or even sleeping, then you can turn those shared interests into a club. The next step is making sure that where your interests lie are approved by the policies of the college. That is done by a getting a faculty advisor.
Once you have a teacher, counsellor or staff member to support you, take a trip to the Office of Student Activities located in the ‘Iliahi building; it’s the same place where you took your picture for your student ID or purchased your bus pass sticker. Ask any one of the friendly faced and capable student workers for applications forms. You can begin the process of becoming officially recognized.
“Students will only make the best of their college experience if the get involved,” said Alfie Gonzales, the faculty advisor to Student Activities. “It seems cliché but those that do get involved can easily reach their successes and satisfactions whatever they may be.”
There is an application package that just asks you general questions and contact information, complete with a checklist to make sure you have all the information you need. With your application package all in order, it’s time to arrange your RIO (Registered Independent Organization) orientation.
“All new forming RIOs must attend an RIO Orientation with the Office of Student Activities before their application for registration can be approved. Please contact OSA located in ‘Illahi 126 or at (808) 734-9576 for more information about scheduling an individual or group RIO orientation. The RIO Orientation must be attended by at least two of the designated four individuals.”
The difference between a club and a RIO is being recognized and official. Which is something, I assure you, that you want. The man helping you become official is Alfred Gonzales, the gatekeeper of the Office of Student Activities (OSA) and Board of Student Activities (BOSA). And he is the one you will meet for your RIO Orientation. He will help turn your fun little club into an accredited, recognized origination that operates under the Kapiʻolani Community College umbrella. He is the man with the plan; trust me, do what he says.
Being recognized officially by the college comes with perks such as funding for your club and any events you may end up throwing. The Economics and Business Club throws study sessions with catered meals. The newly formed Spanish Club will be throwing a Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the first week of November in the student center in ‘Iliahi (which will be making drastic renovations to its current layout and include a room for RIO clubs). RIOs also get a seat and a voice at the Student Congress meetings where your ideas and issues can be heard amongst the student body.
Student Congress meetings get to address any issues regarding the student body but even more so, it’s a chance to meet more liked minds in other RIOs and share upcoming events, find out what other RIOs do, and how potentially you can work together. This is a chance to turn an interest into a passion, and a passion into profession if that’s your goal. That’s the great thing about forming a RIO club: You can take it as casual or sincere as you want. That’s the great thing about the college experience it always comes down to your choice, and this is a great one to take advantage of.
Remember this is your college experience and you can make it exactly how you want it. You can have all the fun in the world eating ice cream in your dessert club or start putting steps down towards your future. I bet being president of Future Business Club RIO looks great on a resume. Remember, what you put into this experience can shape where you can go tomorrow.
For more questions, feel free to stop into the Office of Student Activities (OSA) in ‘Iliahi 126 or call them at (808) 734-9576.
Some of the RIOs already established and would love new members are:
Economics and Business Club
Engineers for a Sustainable World
Hoʻopili Hawaiian Club
HOSA (future Health Professionals)
KARM (Kapiolani Association of Research in Microbiology)
Manga Anime and Gaming Club
New Media Arts Club
Occupational Therapy Assistant Club
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Pre-Med/Pharmacy Student Association
Rad Tech Club
SHIMA CLUB (Students of Hospitality Industry Management Association)
Warriors Assistance League
Jared Singh is a first-year freshman and the secretary of BOSA.