Matador Involvement Center provides students, faculty participation opportunities

Yahaira Garcia

Since last year, Rosa Torres, 20, is the treasurer for Hermanas Unidas de CSUN, an organization that strives to reach out to Latinas to provide academic resources and a family networking system. Torres, psychology major, joined the organization as a freshman and was voted into office in her sophomore year.

“It has been a great experience, a little more than I expected to be honest,” Torres said. “I didn’t expect it to bring out so much of me, to force me to open up and build trust with so many girls, enrich my college experience by learning about time management, networking skills and social skills.”

Torres said she would encourage others students to become involved in clubs and organizations on campus.

The Matador Involvement Center (MIC) allows students to get involved by offering clubs and organizations, sororities and fraternities, and community service opportunities. The MIC has been present at CSUN for almost six years.

“Do you want all your memories of college to be in the classroom? GET INVOLVED” is the slogan for CSUN’s MIC, which is located on the first floor in Plaza del Sol at the University Student Union (USU).

Vicki M. Allen, assistant director for student involvement at the MIC who has been working at CSUN for 16 years said it’s important for students to get involved.

“Dr. Terry Piper, our late vice president for student affairs had a vision of creating a different way of connecting students and provide an area that would help them and link them to make that connection to the university and the involvement center,” Allen said.

The involvement center does not only focus on clubs and organizations but also provides an atmosphere for faculty and staff to interact with students.

“We’re also that space where the professional staff can talk, advice,and assist a student and really try to figure out what’s the best connection for them,” Allen said.

During one of the first weeks of each semester term, the MIC hold Meet the Clubs Day where students have an opportunity to learn what clubs are available at CSUN.

“The M.I.C. really offers an opportunity for a student to find a niche on campus that’s already excising,” said Agustín Garibay, activities coordinator for the MIC. “However if they find out it’s not a perfect match then there’s an opportunity to create a new group on campus.”

Students wanting to get involved should do some research to find out what clubs are already on campus.

“It’s really important that you visit the directory in our website, ( because you want to make sure you’re not going to be starting a club that already exists,” Jennifer Villareal said activities assistant at the MIC.

If a student still does not find the particular club or organization they would like to be apart of, the student can start a new club or organization by following a series of steps, starting with meeting with Villareal for a new club workshop, she said.

Allen said students are discouraged from get involved because they have busy school schedules, jobs and other responsibilities. She said they have established methods to help students become involved without feeling time commitment presures.

“One of the things that we are always trying to ensure is that there are programs that allow students to connect with our theme and engage in that issue in a variety of different ways to get more students, faculty, and staff involved in service,” Allen said.

Last year the focus of service was education, Allen said. If a student couldn’t attend the events, they were encouraged to bring used books they had at home in order to contribute to the literacy fair she added.