Why Should I Get Involved in Student Groups?

iStudent Blog

Published: September 18, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

At San José State University’s iSchool classes and student life are already in full swing. The program boasts six exciting student groups, as well as a student-run academic journal, and representatives from each presented at the Fall 2019 Student Organizations Panel. Whether you’re a continuing or new student, it’s always the right time to get involved in student life! If you’re still hesitant, check out what our leadership all stars had to share.

Student Research Journal Editor-in-Chief, Greta Synder

Greta Synder, soon to be MLIS graduate and current editor-in-chief of the Student Research Journal (SRJ), started the evening off with heralding attendees about the fantastic benefits of being involved at SRJ. Synder shared that successfully submitting and having an article published with SJSU’s only double-blind peer-reviewed journal fulfills multiple competencies for both the MLIS and MARA programs.

If you’re not quite ready to submit an article, there’s multiple ways to get involved at the journal. Synder asked that interested students reach out to her at SJSU.ischool.srj@gmail.com with any questions they may have. Something brand new to the journal is their resource blog, which is a great way to get acclimated at the journal. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. If narratives are more your style, check out the recent blog post, Benefits of Getting Involved at the Student Research Journal.

Special Library Association Student Chapter’s Membership Director, Francis McAdam

Francis McAdam, digital librarian at IMAX and current MLIS student, presented in her capacity as membership director at the Special Library Association Student Chapter. McAdam shared that the SLASC is all about supporting special librarians in the work they do in research and archiving. There are lots of different ways to participate:

  • write a blog post,
  • assist the president, or
  • reach out to new members.

According to McAdam, the possibilities are essentially endless at SLASC. They also encourage students to develop the projects that they personally would like to do during their time at the chapter. 

Details about their Fall events will be released very soon. McAdam believes that at the SLASC members can gain friends, colleagues, leadership skills, networking opportunities and professional contacts. You can email them any question you may have to sjsu.slasc@gmail.com, as well as follow them on their website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

Society of American Archivists Student Chapter’s Acting Chair, Kelli Roisman

Kelli Roisman, acting chair and vice chair at the Society of American Archivist Student Chapter (SAASC), opened up a world of opportunity for students interested in archives. The goal of the SAASC group, Roisman shared, is to provide a platform for discussing archival opportunities. Their first event, the Annual Members Meeting, is coming up on Tuesday, September 10th from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and can be accessed via this Zoom link.

SAASC, in particular, has quite a lot of opportunities available for iSchool students including roles as social media assistant, webmaster, assistant editor and site coordinators. SAASC boasts a semi-annual open-source digital publication, Archeota. Anyone can contribute to the publication, as it’s for the students and by the students. Roisman encouraged interested students to reach out to her via email, at sjsusaasc@gmail.com, or follow the group on their website, Facebook or Twitter.

First Generation Students Group’s Communications Director, Mercedes Rutherford-Patten

Mercedes Rutherford-Patten, library services specialist at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and current MLIS student shined in her role as communications director at First Generation Students Group. Rutherford shared that the group endeavors to provide social and professional support for students who are the first in their families or communities to pursue post-secondary education.

Their first General Members Meeting is coming up on October 24th at 6:30 p.m., so be sure to mark your calendars! Rutherford shared a myriad of ways for students to get involved in the group, including submitting a blog post, or stepping into one of the open positions on their executive committee. Connect to FBSG on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and website. To join, all that is required is to email your first and last name to firstgen.sjsu@gmail.com.

Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), Alyssa Key

Alyssa Key shared that the mission of the Association for Information Science and Technology is to advance the information sciences and related applications of information technology by providing focus, opportunity and support to information professionals and organizations. The vision is vast and centers on advancing the knowledge about information, its creation, properties and use.

Current open positions include membership director and programming director. They instructed interested students to reach out via their email at sjsuasist@gmail.com. Key shared that the group is open to everyone who is interested in the organization, and doesn’t restrict anyone from joining based on their experience in their graduate careers. 

Benefits for joining include receiving relevant emails from ASIS&T Listserv, specific job postings and networking opportunities! Opportunities for participating in the group include serving on the executive community, working on special projects, writing blog posts or assisting with events. Stay in contact with the group via their website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

American Library Association Student Chapter’s Blogging Assistant Elizabeth Borges

Elizabeth Borges, library assistant at The Harker School, was the final presenter of the night, representing the American Library Association Student Chapter (ALASC) in her capacity as blogging assistant.

Borges shared that students don’t need to be a board member to be involved in the student chapter. They are always looking for blog post writers or help co-hosting an event. Borges admonished that everyone’s busy with schoolwork, and there’s plenty students can do even with limited availability. She said they are looking for students to attend events, write a guest blog post or run for executive board positions in Spring 2020.

Upcoming events include Banned Books Week, as well as Spare Parts book discussion. Banned book is a scavenger hunt to locate books that were banned from other libraries. There’s a prize of an Amazon gift card! To stay in touch, feel free to follow them on their website, Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about opportunities to get involved in student life at the iSchool. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below! 


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