Northern Arizona University has more than 700 events and activities throughout the year where students have the opportunity to meet new people. Free and fun is what every college student likes to hear, and attending on-campus events can be very beneficial. There are many students who enjoy being part of those events, but also some who would rather stay home.
Why is it that some students choose not to participate in on-campus events? There are a lot of things students consider before going to an event. Students might not attend because they don’t have transportation, or because they don’t have someone to go with. Timing and scheduling are big factors as well.
The university notifies students of events by sending out emails and posting flyers throughout campus, so the problem isn’t a lack of awareness. Informing students about events is easy but getting them to attend is the hard part.
Freshman Elementary Education major Cynthia Lopez enjoys getting involved in the events that take place on campus. She is part of the Latin Dance Club, Catholic Jacks, Future Teachers Club, Intramural Sports, Art Through all Mediums and in the future she hopes to become a True Blue Ambassador.
“I am involved in a lot of different organizations on campus because I want to meet new people and keep myself busy,” said Lopez.
It all started when she first arrived on campus and started looking for groups to join. When she found Catholic Jacks, she immediately knew she wanted to be part of it. In time, she found other clubs to join through friends and personal interests.
Regardless of her busy schedule, Lopez makes an effort to attend events that occur on and off campus, but attending an off-campus event presents its own challenges.
“Attending off-campus events is difficult sometimes. Most of them are at night and that’s a big factor for me. I also struggle with transportation or not having someone to go with,” said Lopez.
Senior History Secondary Education major Brandon Taylor has not been very involved in the activities that happen on and off campus.
During his freshman year, Taylor attended sporting events. He and his friends would hardly ever miss a football game, and they would tailgate whenever they had a chance. They also attended many basketball and soccer games. But on most weekends, Taylor was happy staying in his dorm room and playing video games.
“When I was a freshman, I was too scared to put myself out there. I only hung out with people I knew, and if my friends didn’t want to attend a campus event, then neither did I,” said Taylor.
Not much changed his sophomore year, but he found something new to participate in. Taylor and his friends played trivia at the Dub every other Wednesday for the whole year.
“We enjoyed going because it was really fun. We were also really good at it. We won first place numerous times,” said Taylor.
First place winners received a $15 gift card to the bookstore and 36 free wings from The Coupe. Second place winners received 15 dining dollars and 36 wings.
Taylor got a car his junior year, and even though transportation was no longer an issue, he had no interest in attending off-campus events. Instead, he would spend his time playing golf, going to the movies or traveling around Arizona.
This year, Taylor wants to get more involved. “Since this is my last year at NAU, I plan to attend more events. I like my campus community and I don’t want to keep missing out on the college experience.”
Senior History Secondary Education major Jenna Wright used to attend many events during her sophomore and junior year because she was a Resident Assistant.
“Now that I am a senior and I have more coursework, it's harder to attend a lot of events,” said Wright. But she still tries to make it to events when she can.
“I like going to campus events because they’re fun and I enjoy meeting new people. As an out-of-state student who doesn't have a lot of connections outside of Flagstaff, keeping busy keeps me from getting homesick,” said Wright.
Most upperclassmen worry about high-level courses and busy work schedules. After a long day of school and work, they would rather go home and relax than go attend an event.
For underclassmen, transportation and companionship seem to be the main problems. They would rather stay home than stress about transportation and finding someone to go with.
For some, lack of social interest is also a factor. Students like spending time downtown, going to campus events, and traveling outside of flagstaff, but they also enjoy their alone time.
Whatever the reasons for passing up events, Cynthia Lopez urges students to try and get involved. “Stay up to date with the latest opportunities,” she said. “One of the best things about college is having the opportunity to try new things.”