Student Organizations


Joining a student organization can be an important factor in the success and enjoyment of your college experience. While academic learning is the primary goal of college, extracurricular activities help you learn and grow beyond the walls of the classroom and can provide you with hands-on training to better prepare you for your future career.

Participation in student organizations offers you opportunities for fellowship, leadership, recreation, and meaningful interaction with faculty, staff, and peers. The good friends and times encountered through being actively involved on campus can help transform what is sometimes a large and overwhelming institution into a place you can call “home.” There are a variety of organizations to choose from.

                                                                      BENEFITS OF BEING INVOLVED
» Make new friends                                                               » Establish a personal and professional network
» Pursue special interests and hobbies                                » Enjoy a more fulfilling college experience
» Pursue professional goals and experiences                      » Contribute to UWM and your community
» Explore career opportunities                                              » Increase self-confidence and self-esteem
» Develop leadership & communication skills                       » Help to build a better UWM community

                                                                      HOW TO GET INVOLVED
» Involvement Fair (Second week of Fall and Spring)           » See the events calendar at
» Student Involvement (355 Union)                                       » Visit and search for “event calendar”
» Invitation from student, faculty, or staff member                 » Attend events (see above)
» Ctr. for Community-Based Learning (W28 Union)              » Student Association (EG79 Union)
» Info tables (near the Union food court)                               » Ask your academic advisor, other students or professors

                                                          FINDING THE RIGHT MATCH (Please ask yourself the following questions):
» What am I looking for in an organization?  (Meet new friends, try something new, etc.?
» What are the goals and objectives of the group? What affiliation it may have with off-campus organizations?
» What time commitments are expected?
» What are the financial obligations, if any?
» Did I feel a connection with current members?
» Will membership mean isolation from family and non-member friends?
» Will involvement enhance or deter achievement of my academic and career goals?

 It is important to remember that it is possible to get "too" involved. Balance your school work, friends, family, and work schedules with your involvement opportunities so they complement one another rather than cause you to go crazy.

If you are satisfied with your answers and you have the time and interest, choose to be involved. Getting involved is easy, just pick up your phone and dial a number. If you need help or some encouragement, dial (414) 229-5780.

Student Organizations Categories!

Cultural: Organizations whose primary focus is on a specific culture, nationality or ethnicity in order to provide education, advocacy, support, and camaraderie. Many of these organizations provide programming designed to promote awareness and understanding of beliefs, values, and traditions that may differ from other cultures.

Department/Academic: Organizations whose primary focus is affiliated with an academic department, major or discipline.

Fraternity/Sorority: Organizations whose membership is limited to a single gender and granted exception to Title IX requirements for the purpose of cultivating and supporting an environment of brotherhood or sisterhood. In addition, membership in one organization in this category is mutually exclusive to membership in any of the others (i.e., an individual may only belong to one of the organizations in this category).

Governance: Organizations whose primary focus is on representing students, expressing student opinion and providing student feedback to the University and its various components. These organizations carry out elements of student responsibilities to participate in the governance of the institution as articulated in State Statute and UW Regents policies.

Honor Society: Organizations whose primary focus is on conferring membership as an honor for academic/scholarly/leadership achievement.

Political: Organizations whose primary focus is on endorsing/supporting candidates for elected positions, ballot initiatives, referendum and the like, and/or debate, discuss, advocate and educate on regional, state, national or international political issues.

Professional: Organizations whose primary focus on career interests and professional preparation.

Recreational: Organizations whose primary focus is on engaging in recreational and leisure activities which may or may not be competitive.

Religious: Organizations whose primary focus is on educating about and supporting particular spiritual and/or religious practices, philosophies and beliefs.

Service: Organizations whose primary focus is on providing volunteer service to others typically including UWM and the community.

Social Action: Organizations whose primary focus is on creating a forum for social change through education.

Sports Club: Organizations whose primary focus is on competition against other colleges and universities in a sport but not at the varsity level. These organizations must also be a member of a governing collegiate sport club league or association.

A Recognized Student Organization (RSO) is an organization created and sustained by its student membership. The organization has completed the recognition process established by the University. The student membership sets the direction for the organization and develops its own means of supporting the organization. Each RSO will also have a category that helps describe the nature of the organization.

As a condition of affiliation with UWM, all RSOs must have a charter/constitution, which contains a purpose statement and membership requirements (among other requirements), on file with the Center for Student Involvement. The organization’s category is based in large part on the purpose statement of the organization. It is important to note that categories are determine by “primary focus” of an organization; organizations frequently have more than one focus and may operate, in a limited fashion, within some areas other than their primary focus (for example, all student organization have a social component).

No student may be denied admission to, participation in, or be discriminated against in any organization at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, pregnancy, marital status or paternal status. Discrimination is also prohibited based on political affiliation or belief, arrest or conviction record or disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran status.