Published: Jan. 18, 2019

Students curling on the ice rink at The RecGaining a sense of belonging on campus often begins with connections. Whether a student connects with a roommate, classmate, student organization, faculty or staff member, these connections lay the foundation for creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable at CU Boulder.­

As we begin a new semester, faculty and staff are instrumental in helping students find their niche on campus, cultivate a sense of belonging on campus and enhance their overall experience here at CU Boulder. Here’s how you can help students get involved.

Ask open-ended questions

Have a conversation and ask open-ended questions. What does the student feel like they are missing out on? What are some of their hobbies or interests? What did they do in high school? Is there something new they’ve always wanted to try? The answers to these questions can help guide your conversation and determine the appropriate resources for the student.

Browse student organizations

Based on their interests and hobbies, do they like to hike? Explore caves? Enjoy live comedy? Play Magic: The Gathering? There’s a club for that! Students can browse the list of more than 500 student organizations on BuffConnect. If they don’t find a club that suits their interests, students can start a new student organization by working with the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

Leadership development

CU GOLD (Gaining Opportunities through Leadership Development) provides free leadership development opportunities to all students. Students can register for the Core Leadership Program, which consists of weekly seminars on a variety of leadership topics.

Give back while getting involved

If they have an interest in service or getting involved in the greater Boulder community, students can easily find volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Resource Center. Students can search through the community partner database online, find short-term opportunities on the calendar or participate in immersive programs over a short period of time like Alternative Breaks.

Explore no-commitment options

If a student is hesitant to get involved with a group or volunteer opportunity because it feels like a big commitment, there are still ways they can get involved on campus. The Rec CenterCenter for Student Involvement, Environmental Center and Residence Life offer free events and programs for students to get involved throughout the year, including I Love Mondays and Buffalo Nites.