Eager to dive into campus life at CU? Well Buffs, you’re in luck! There are plenty of different ways to get involved on campus and in the CU Boulder community. Whether it is through student organizations, on-campus jobs, leadership roles or volunteering, there is a place for everyone to find their home in the Buff community.
I spoke with CU seniors Ava Bandt, Gabriel Tierney and Sarah Lurie to learn about their experiences in getting involved by volunteering in the Boulder community and at CU.
Ava is a pre-health and psychology major at CU Boulder. After graduation, she intends on going into a career where she can help members of the community and make an impact by being a positive force. She currently volunteers at the Harvest of Hope food pantry in Boulder.
“I wanted to find a way to become more involved and more connected with the community. Living on The Hill, you see a lot of people experiencing homelessness or who are struggling, so I just wanted to find a way to be involved and help elevate the people who don’t always get the most support from everyone,” says Bandt.
She is also involved in the Boulder Freeride club and has a student job with CU Events Planning & Catering on campus.
One piece of advice Bandt has is to not be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things.
“Trying anything new can be intimidating but from every club and organization that I’ve joined, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot. It’s scary at first, especially when you’re at a new school, but once you really do immerse yourself, you’ll find that people are really welcoming and accepting, and they want you to be a part of these things.”
Tierney is a CU in the Community project leader at the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) and is also a part of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), which is the co-ed service fraternity on campus. A typical job as a project leader entails running a group of volunteers, organizing fun volunteer events and communicating with the VRC and the nonprofit organization you are working with. TIerney has enjoyed leading and planning volunteer projects, such as the Martin Luther King CU in the Community event.
“I led the Martin Luther King CU in the Community event. We went out and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and I think there were like 15 students who came. I actually made some friends that day. That is one of the cooler parts—getting to know other students who have similar interests,” says Gabriel. “The social side of it doesn’t get talked about, and it is honestly a really fun thing. The friendship side of it, outside of the impact, is such a cool experience to get involved and meet new people at CU.”
One piece of advice that Gabriel has is to “just take that first step.”
Lurie is also involved with the Volunteer Resource Center and serves as an advisory board member. She got involved with the VRC her freshman year by attending the Be Involved Fair.
“I was one of those eager freshmen where I was just like—I’m going to show up to everything and put my name on every single list, so I did, and that was one of the things I put my name on. Through these last three years, a lot of those things have kind of tapered away, and I found my passion within the things that I’m still a part of, and the VRC has been that for me,” says Lurie.
She also browsed the list of all of the clubs and organizations on BuffConnect, making a list of all the things she was interested in.
Lurie is a talent management major in the Leeds School of Business. “In the business school you’re so cooped up on the very end of campus that I rarely went to the UMC or branched out from that area, so I felt like being involved was my way to branch out and meet new people. I'm surrounded by business people all day so I wanted to meet people outside my major and find commonalities that stem beyond the classroom. It’s fun to be able to find connections with people that go beyond your major.”
“Once you’re involved in even just one or two things on campus, you start seeing all these connections within the campus community, and it’s really cool to be a part of this network.”
One piece of advice Lurie has is to not let the amount of opportunities at CU intimidate you, and to use your first year at CU to try out lots of different opportunities, with the intention to narrow it down by the second semester to things that you absolutely love.
So, Buffs, don’t be afraid to jump in and get involved—there are numerous volunteer opportunities for you to get involved with in the CU community!