11 Ways to Get Involved at Rollins

August 31, 2022

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

As Rollins welcomes its biggest class ever, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite ways that Tars can dive headfirst into campus culture.

It’s the start of a new semester and campus is once again buzzing with activity. As Rollins welcomes the largest incoming class in our history and welcomes back all students for the start of another great year, we’re reflecting on all the things that make our campus special. Here on America’s most beautiful campus, getting involved and building community are as easy as knowing where to go.

Thankfully, we’ve got an entire department devoted to helping students get involved in campus life. The newly established Center for Campus Involvement (formerly the Center for Inclusion & Campus Involvement) has a new home in the Cornell Campus Center and a new mission: to promote experiences outside the classroom that allow students to collaborate, socialize, build leadership skills, and embrace their passions.

“We’re really excited to help students of all backgrounds take an active role in enriching their college experience,” says Bronwyn Holder, staff lead for the Center of Campus Involvement. “Our new center will oversee all student organizations, student government, fraternities and sororities, student media, and also special events and traditions like LipSync and Fox Day. And we’ll continue to work with the new Center for Inclusion & Belonging to make sure all of these experiences remain inclusive and welcoming for everyone.”

A good place to start is by bookmarking the Rollins Get Involved page, which provides information on every student organization and how to join. And if you still need a little help figuring out how to find your fit? Relax, we’ve got you. Here are 11 ways to get involved at Rollins.

Student on the Everglades Immersion meet a friendly horse.
Photo by Scott Cook.

1. Immerse Yourself in Good

Through our Immersion: Citizens Take Action program, you have the opportunity to spend your school breaks helping others. These experiences are offered at no cost to you and often involve travel—past Immersion cohorts have spent weekends assembling meal kits for folks experiencing food insecurity in Savannah, Georgia, or clearing invasive species in the Florida Everglades. It’s a great way to meet like-minded students while embracing a new experience.

And all of this service adds up to big change. Thanks to the Immersion program, Rollins has consistently ranked No. 1 in the country for the percentage of students who participate in alternative breaks.

Members of the Rollins Black Student Union gather on the steps of Kathleen W. Rollins Hall
Photo by Robert Whetstone.

2. Join a Club

Joining a student-led club is a wonderful way to build community with people who share your interests while also presenting an opportunity for you to explore something new. With over 150 existing student organizations to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone.

Looking for people who share a similar cultural or spiritual identity as you? There’s a club for that. Do you want to network with others in your chosen industry? There’s a club for that. Do you just want to find other Star Wars fans to debate the merits of the latest spin-off series? Seriously, there’s a club for that, and there’s no limit to how many organizations you can join.

Members of the Rollins Latin American Student Association cabinet meet to establish club goals.
Photo by Scott Cook.

3. Start a Club

On the off-chance that you don’t find a club that sparks your interest, why not start your own? All you need are five friends to serve as founding members and a rough idea of what you’d like your club to be. And don’t worry too much about overhead costs—some clubs will qualify for funding to purchase equipment or host events.

Once you’ve got your proposal nailed down, it’s as easy as sending an email to the Center for Campus Involvement, where a staff member will walk you through the final steps to make your club an official part of #RollinsLife.

Students in a community engagement course work volunteer with a youth program
Photo by Scott Cook.

4. Earn Credit While Giving Back

If you want to earn course credit while taking your love of service to the next level, Community Engagement (CE) courses are a great way to build experience while serving others and exploring new fields. CE courses cover a variety of topics across disciplines and require 15 to 30 hours of community-based work. Previous CE courses have included everything from Writing Books For & With Children to Strategies for Changemakers to Difficult Dialogues in Health Communication.

Renee Sang ’21 was so inspired by her work in the CE course Memory and the Photograph, which paired students with seniors at a local assisted living facility to record stories from their lives, that she went on to double major in studio art and critical media and cultural studies.

a former SGA president speaks at the opening of Kathleen W. Rollins Hall
Photo by Scott Cook.

5. Run for Office

If you’d like to hone your leadership skills while advocating for your fellow students, why not vie for a position in the Rollins Student Government Association (SGA)? The organization is made up of three branches, including a judicial board, a senate, and an executive board, all of which play a key role in providing fair and balanced leadership for all students at Rollins.

And don’t worry, you can still be involved even if you don’t have political aspirations. SGA meetings are open to all students, faculty, and staff. Starting mid-September, you can drop into the Galloway Room in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays to join the conversation.

Students pose with the Rollins Fox on Tars Plaza
Photo by Scott Cook.

6. Embrace a Tradition

From the ethereal glow of Candlewish to the epic dance battles of LipSync, Rollins offers a ton of fun and storied traditions designed to help you connect with the Rollins legacy. Perhaps the most beloved of these is Fox Day. Each spring, the mischievous fox appears on Tars Plaza, signaling the cancellation of classes and kicking off a day of fun in the sun. Head down to the lake for a paddle, or make a splash at the Lakeside pool. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a 40-minute drive to some of the best themed attractions in the world. It all culminates in a campus-wide picnic back on Mills Lawn, where you’ll mix, mingle, and share highlights from your day off.

Students embrace on sorority bid day.
Photo by Scott Cook.

7. Go Greek

Fraternal organizations have been a part of Rollins history since the early days and continue to be a vibrant part of campus life. And as with everything here, service and leadership are a cornerstone of this community. Each of the College’s 12 organizations chooses a philanthropic cause to support throughout the year, and members often hold leadership positions in other areas, such as academic-based honor societies. One thing that’s unique about how we do Greek life? Rollins is a deferred recruitment campus, meaning new Tars have a chance to find their footing before pledging in the spring semester.

Returning and transfer students with at least 12 credit hours are eligible to rush and pledge in the fall, but no matter when you decide to commit to a chapter, the result is always one steeped in community and tradition.

Students in the Rollins Sustainability Program restore native plants to Lake Virginia.
Photo by Scott Cook.

8. Build a More Sustainable Future

Rollins offers not one but two eco-focused organizations. The Sustainability Program focuses on making campus a more beautiful and sustainable place by spearheading efforts like the lakeside restoration projects and ensuring that we remain a Fair Trade campus. EcoRollins is more broadly focused on environmental topics beyond campus. They host monthly events such as eco-friendly craft nights, service projects, trips to local state parks, and a regular forum called “What’s the Green Tea?” where students can meet to discuss the latest news in environmentalism.

Students paddlebaord on Lake Virginia
Photo by Scott Cook.

9. Make a Splash

Calling all Tars with a competitive streak. Rollins is home to dozens of intramural sports teams, and with an average of 236 days of sunshine per year, that’s a lot of opportunities to leave it all on the field. In addition to typical offerings like soccer and volleyball, our location allows us to offer more unique club sports like paddle boarding and equestrian sports. More of an indoor person? Check out one of the many group fitness classes that run throughout the day. And for casual and serious gamers alike, the Rollins Esports Club is always welcoming new members to game in our state-of-the-art esports studio.

A member of student media hovers over a soundboard.
Photo by Scott Cook.

10. Start a Podcast

Student media is a vital part of how our campus stays informed—think of it as our collective conscious—and now we offer more ways than ever to share your voice. For 70 years, Rollins’ own WPRK has been providing Central Florida with “the best in basement radio.” This student-run radio station relies solely on volunteers to keep the broadcast going, and what better way to be heard than by starting your own radio show? Or, if you’re more of a budding reporter, you can pick up a beat at our independent, student-run newspaper The Sandspur. Experimental artists can submit work to The Independent, a student-run magazine showcasing the voices of writers, artists, and intellectuals. And the literary arts journal Brushing has been publishing poems, short stories, and photographs from the Rollins community for 50 years. 

Curious? Stop by the Student Media offices in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall to chat with an editor or station manager.

Student gather around a fire pit at Lakeside Neighborhood
Photo by Scott Cook.

11. No Campus Address? No Problem.

While most folks choose to live on campus, Rollins is also home to a thriving community of off-campus students who commute in for classes. And no matter where you lay your head at night, you can still take advantage of all the incredible social opportunities the College has to offer—plus a few more.

The Off-Campus Student Association hosts events to help commuters connect with campus life. In the past, they’ve held improv nights, hosted spooky Halloween haunted houses, and organized movie nights. They also oversee the Off-Campus Lounge located in Lakeside Neighborhood. This cozy spot has everything you need to get through a long day of classes, from fridges to stash your lunch to plush couches and huge televisions so you can unwind in your downtime without having to trek home.

Rollins College students enjoying lunch by the Lakeside pool.

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