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Student Involvement Hurdling Obstacles to Strengthen Leadership on Campus

Students gathered | Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian

Student involvement personnel at Wright State University have faced barriers in retaining students and navigating obstacles, but provide resources to students to combat these issues. 


With nearly 200 organizations on campus, WSU offers multiple avenues to involvement, including organizations, Greek affiliations, academic programming and campus recreation; however, getting students involved initially can be difficult, according to Student Involvement and Leadership involvement mentor Selvin Bacon-Velasquez.

“When I first came to Wright State, I was very shy, you know, I didn’t want to go up to people. I just wanted to get to class and just go home afterwards,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “I think the only thing that I see is that students don’t really go seeking for it.”

Amigos Latinos President Mariangely Bonilla Custodio also mentioned that retaining students long-term presents issues for some organizations. 

“It is difficult to have people keep coming back,” Bonilla Custodio said. 

Director of the Student Union and Campus Recreation Eric Corbitt also mentioned time and money as barriers to student involvement. 

“I think more students than ever still have to work when they’re going to school to either pay for school or maybe they live in an apartment, and that’s got to be a priority for students,” Corbitt said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t work with the scheduled events that we have. Academic schedule is a priority.”

Lack of motivation and fear are other obstacles associated with student involvement, according to the Student Government Association President Blake Bailey, who mentioned the difficulties younger students face when venturing into new participation avenues or leadership opportunities.

Navigating barriers

Some students may not know which organization best fits a schedule and set of interests. In these cases, Bacon-Velasquez recommended that students book an appointment with an involvement mentor to identify the most suited organization for an individualized scope. 

Corbitt mentioned that student affairs personnel work to offer engaging opportunities for students.

“[Student affairs personnel] need to look at the times when [students] are here and be creative and how we promote activities to make sure that folks know what’s going on,” Corbitt said. “How can we make it as user friendly as possible for the students as far as trends among the different classes?”

According to Bailey, SGA works to represent and advocate for the student population regarding student involvement. These initiatives are in Resolution 23-1, Establishment of the Strategic Initiatives for Student Experience Task Force, which was presented at the Aug. 23 public meeting. No updates about this resolution have been made public. 

Students who do not know what organization fits interests and schedules can access information through the Engage website and the CORQ app. 

Benefits of involvement

Bacon-Velasquez, Bailey and Bonilla Custodio echoed similar thoughts about involvement, mentioning skills and experiences including leading, networking, communicating and belonging.

“Being involved helps with a lot of things like I mentioned, you know, leadership, you know, especially social networking as well,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “Finding friends, all that good stuff, attending events, just having a good time. You know, it’s part of the college experience.”

Bonilla Custodia also mentioned that strong connections and relationships are built through involvement on campus, describing the current campus as “lively” with resources to help navigate support portals, find sources for organizations and transition into both college and involvement opportunities.
For more information about student involvement, students can visit the SIL office at 019 Student Union, which can be contacted at 937-775-5570 and

Alexis Lewis


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