Story and photo by Sorayda Rivera
Student Life Editor
For students wanting to get more involved with student life at school or just looking for something to do, Tyler Junior College has more than 40 organizations to choose from. The Green Committee, Hispanic Student Organization, International Game Developers Association and Student Senate are some groups students can join.
TJC’s Student Life and Involvement offers avenues of exploration of varied interests and integrates the culture of school spirit and tradition. It can help students develop in areas of learning, leadership, and interpersonal and organizational growth.
There are so many reasons to get involved with campus life, said Director of Student Life Lauren Tyler. It’s more than just joining clubs or holding events and leadership training, or joining the cheer team, it’s about making connections. “Connection is key,” Tyler said.
John Wofford, a chemistry major at TJC said he decided to get involved with student life to “get plugged in on campus and get the full college experience.”
“By getting involved with student life, I was able to fill in some of the gaps in my schedule with activities and clubs that I enjoy,” Wofford said. “On top of that, it has given me the opportunity to build friendships with people who hold similar interests, as well as make connections with different people across campus.”
Wofford is involved with the Apache Chiefs, New Student Orientation Leaders, a student leader at the Baptist Student Ministry, a member of the Presidential Honors Program, an Apache Belle Guard, was a Ya-A-Te Summer Camp leader, and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
“It has given me the opportunity to get involved and active on TJC’s campus and has provided me with ample opportunities to make new friends and memories during my time here,” Wofford said.
The Center for Student Life and Involvement supports the core values of TJC and enhances the student experience by promoting success inside and outside the classroom. Students go to class to further their education, but Tyler expressed, “the experience outside the classroom is why you stay or why you finish.”
“Getting excited about being at TJC and being an Apache and why you bleed black and gold is kind of the thing outside,” Tyler said. Tyler added, TJC has great classes and great faculty but those things are only part of a student’s day. “We want to help finish the rest of the day,” Tyler said.
The center oversees multiple aspects of student life. It has cheer programs, spirit programs, student government and more. All of the clubs, organizations and student activities fall under this office.
“From movie night on the lawn, to the numerous other events the CSLI office has put on, to all the events I’ve been involved within my organizations, being a part of student life has made my college experience so much more rich and fulfilling,” Wofford said.
Student life is also about educational excellence, innovative programming and community partnerships. Tyler said they like to involve the community in different ways by hosting events like drive-in movies, virtual bingo, 50-Gallon Challenge and more.
Tyler mentioned they are trying to get some things going with the City of Tyler. TJC also has faculty and staff who serve in different community organizations. Tyler added they are “trying to strengthen the partnerships because the community does a lot for us. We want to do the same with volunteer work and service and that sort of thing.”
Tyler said a lot of the services are all still available at TJC. Students can still join an organization, attend meetings via Zoom, watch Student Senate meetings, do online tutoring and receive online counseling.
Students can get a grasp of what’s happening on campus by attending the virtual Senate meetings or visiting OrgSync, TJC’s campus engagement platform.
Through this platform, students can join an organization, find contact information, fill out forms, read the latest news and even chat.
Social media is also a way students can stay involved and up-to-date on what is happening with student life. Students can follow TJC, the tutoring center and Student Life on social media. “Get interactive; that way you can find out what’s happening,” Tyler said.
Wofford encourages students interested in getting involved to “go for it.”
“Taking that leap of faith and getting your feet wet can be one of the best things you do for yourself in your college career, and I cannot recommend it enough,” Wofford said.
Tyler expressed students should “attend an event, join a club, attend a lecture, go to extracurriculars, go to a game, do something.”
“Netflix will always be there, these experiences won’t,” Tyler said.
For more information on how to get involved, visit orgsync.tjc.edu or the Center for Student Life and Involvement on the second floor of the Rogers Student Center.