The diverse student body present on the University of Memphis campus has warranted a variety of organizations, groups and clubs to create an atmosphere of community and inclusion for students.
Passions, hobbies and priorities can vary from student to student. Whether faith, community or activities are of importance, there is a corresponding organization to connect the student with the university.
The Baptist Collegiate Ministry’s Memphis chapter (BCM) is one of the most prominent and active Christian organizations on campus. According to Elisha McFarlin, a freshman accounting major on the BCM leadership team, said the BCM was very welcoming and helpful when he first stepped foot on campus.
“I got really involved the first week of my freshmen year,” said McFarlin. “There’s a whole team dedicated to welcoming people and events meant to help others get to know who you are.”
McFarlin is a singer, guitarist and worship leader in the BCM’s weekly Thursday night services. He said that most of the friendships he has made on campus came from BCM activities, and the organization welcomes any student on campus.
The BCM offers a free lunch to any student on campus every Wednesday. Events like the weekly free lunch help reach the BCM’s goal, according to McFarlin.
“The main focus is to reach people on campus and teach them about Jesus Christ,” said McFarlin. “What’s cool about it is that it’s not a church itself, but it connects students with a local church in Memphis. It was very helpful to me since I’m from Murfreesboro.”
An annual freshmen arrival grill-out will take place beginning next school year. For those interested in what the BCM is about, worship leaders have developed a weekly podcast that can be found on their social media pages.
Other Christian organizations are also present, including Campus Outreach and The Catholic Student Organization. The Muslim Student Association also has a Memphis chapter, while Multicultural Affairs connects students of different demographics to learn about each other’s culture.
“I’m looking forward to welcome week and meeting all the freshmen,” McFarlin said. “We’ll spend days doing fun stuff and connecting in a welcoming environment.”
Faith-based organizations are not the only way to meet new friends and get involved on campus. The University of Memphis offers lively fraternity and sorority opportunities that can fit any student’s interests.
Kacey Baker is the president of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at The UofM. She said Greek life offers an enriching experience that creates long-lasting friendships.
“Greek life is very valuable for a college campus, I have experienced this firsthand,” said Baker. “Alpha Gamma Delta has given me and my sisters many leadership and networking opportunities on and off-campus.”
Baker also said that being part of a sorority can help as freshmen adjust to the college setup. Having a group of other people for academic and social support was of high value for Baker.
Every fraternity and sorority offer a unique experience. One aspect of Alpha Gamma Delta that stood out for Baker was the sorority’s combining of young and old, new and experienced students in their activities.
“My sisters push me to be the best woman, leader and friend that I can be,” Baker said. “I dove full force into the sorority as a freshman, and I am forever grateful for everything it’s given me in return.”
According to Baker, Alpha Gamma Delta has “The Bachelor” watch nights, a Super Bowl party and spa nights. Other fraternities and sororities offer their own unique activities, making Greek life a personal and connected experience.
Interest-based organizations are also an option to connect with classmates. Whether academics, athletics or hobbies are of interest to a student, there is likely to be a correlating organization.
For those with athletic interests, the 901 Ranger Club is a physical fitness group that works out together. There is also the Cricket Association, the Equestrian Club and intramural sports offered by the University directly.
The American Marketing Association, American Civil Engineering Association and American Society of Mechanical Engineers all have Memphis branches to strengthen skills learned in the classroom.
All organizations present on The UofM campus can be found online through TigerZone. It can be accessed from The UofM homepage by clicking “current students.”