One of my favorite parts of undergrad was the opportunity to join clubs and become part of smaller networks within the larger school community. Before starting at Rollins, I was worried that I wouldn’t have opportunities to engage with the school community beyond the classroom setting. I quickly realized, however, that Rollins maintains a professional school setting while offering an abundance of opportunities to join student organizations and socialize with professors and classmates. Every year during orientation, there is an activities fair where student organizations set up informational tables and share their club’s purpose with other students. Whether you’re into outbreak response, humanitarian crises, environmental health, or One Health, there is most likely a club that fits your interests. While some clubs have an application process, most are open to all students regardless of concentration. Clubs are generally very flexible in terms of participation, and many of the events hosted by student organizations are open to all students, so you can attend events even if you’re not a member. From guest lecturers during the lunch hour to networking nights, the student organizations at Rollins are always offering opportunities for students to be more involved with Rollins and the larger public health community within Atlanta.
In addition to student organizations, Rollins does a great job at fostering a community feeling among students, staff, and professors. Throughout the school year, Rollins Student Government Association (RSGA) organizes events that allow students to socialize, take a break from the stress of school, and engage with Rollins and Emory as a whole. Fall Fling and Second-Year Send-off are formal events held each school year in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. These events offer a great opportunity for students to take a break from schoolwork, dress-up, and spend time with classmates at a fun Atlanta venue. Other events held throughout the year include Convos on Tap, hikes, trivia nights, and mixers between departments and with other graduate schools at Emory. In addition, every department has RSGA representatives who help form a connection between students, the department, and student government. They plan events that allow students to engage with professors in a more relaxed setting outside of the classroom. Events organized by department representatives include bagel breakfasts, ice cream socials, and town hall meetings.
Whether you’re looking to join an organization that meets every week or attend school-wide events once a month, Rollins offers the opportunity to engage with the school community as much or as little as you would like. School can be stressful, but Rollins does an excellent job at offering a social and community aspect to the program so that we can benefit from our time at Rollins as much as possible!