Editor’s note: This is second in a series of stories this semester about how to get involved in various organizations on campus.
International Students Union
Though it is one of the newest organizations on campus, the International Students Union made its mark last semester when its members served a variety of tasty treats at the International Food Fair.
ISU, launched in February 2013, exists to cater to international students’ needs and to create a bridge between American students and international students.
“We want our fellow international friends to fit in, learn and embrace the various culture differences as well as share their experiences and lives with the community here,” said Kendra Loh, senior double major in advertising and psychology and ISU president.
“It benefits both the international and the local students as everyone gets to know each other through events and meetings, and have fun as lasting friendship bonds forms and the barrier of culture differences disappears.”
Last semester, ISU hosted its first two campus-wide events: a Chinese New Year celebration and the International Food Fair.
This semester, members are focusing on increasing membership and building relationships between members.
Elisabeth Kristensen, sophomore broadcast journalism major and secretary of public relations for the group, traveled to Union from Norway and has been involved with ISU since its inception.
“I like ISU because it is so diverse,” Kristensen said. “Having to work with so many different cultures in a small committee has showed me how to communicate with different cultures.”
Loh said she is especially excited about serving the international and local community this semester.
“[Whether] through events or just casual meetings, I am excited to see how we will all form bonds and make strong friendships throughout this year,” Loh said.
ISU welcomes any student interested in joining.
Meetings take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every other Thursday in Penick Academic Complex, room H40.
On Nov. 23, ISU invites all students to a free coffee hour during chapel hour in the International Students Lounge in Penick Academic Complex, room H41.
Union Broadcasting Society
Union Broadcasting Society has been part of the Department of Communication Arts for years but drew campus-wide attention with the debut of a student-run, campus news broadcast: UNews.
Television screens across campus attracted students’ attention when they saw familiar faces delivering the news.
The purpose of UBS is to provide students interested in communications a chance to participate in three types of productions: basketball broadcasts, soccer broadcasts and, most recently, UNews.
“[UBS] is an incredibly fun environment to learn and utilize our creativity, providing us with opportunities we can’t have in a classroom,” said Kacee Enzor, junior media communications major and the UBS president.
“We have a lot of new ideas to make [UNews] funnier and [more] entertaining and are very excited to get more students involved from all departments.”
UBS students are paid to broadcast basketball and soccer games that air live on EPlus 6, a cable channel that broadcasts in Jackson.
Students receive invaluable experience with cameras, directing broadcasts, on-air commentating and production.
The newest endeavor, UNews, which is broadcast online and on campus television screens, began last semester and is growing into a department-wide effort.
Enzor said one of her favorite aspects of being involved with UBS is spending time with students who have common goals and interests.
“I have had the privilege of being taught by people that were older than me, and now I have the privilege of being president and trying to teach people younger than me.”
Most of the students enrolled in UBS are communications majors, however, the society welcomes any student interested in broadcast productions.
“Learning more about broadcasting, television, filming and leadership has been amazing,” Enzor said. “I know it will help me not only professionally but with my character as well.”
International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission gained worldwide interest in January 2013 when the organization was spotlighted at a Passion Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
However, many students do not realize that they participate in social justice through Union’s chapter of IJM.
“IJM has made me more aware of global injustices and how many of those injustices are in the U.S.,” said Blair Baugher, junior nursing major and president of Union’s chapter.
“I have learned that I have a voice and a passion to help those who cannot speak up for themselves.”
The purpose of IJM is to rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
Local chapters exist to raise awareness of those injustices, organize prayerful support for victims of oppression and to provide people with practical methods of actively pursuing justice.
This semester, IJM will host a screening of Invisible Children’s newest film: a documentary about its progress in rescuing child soldiers from the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
The screening will take place at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 in Penick Academic Complex, room D3.
Union’s IJM chapter meets at 8 p.m. every Monday night in the Bowld Commons, room 221.
Baugher said the chapter welcomes “members [who] have a passion for pursuing justice and informing others about international injustices.”