The Sac State Experience


Denise Barajas

Sacramento State’s student population surpasses 30,000, and yet it is still perceived by some as a “commuter school.”

However, many students have started contesting said notion by pointing out the various programs we have on campus, as well as the great variety of events we host year-round.

Our campus is fortunate enough to have over 300 clubs, several sports teams, as well as multiple department-run programs.

Among the many choices we have on campus we have a skydiving club, a Super Smash Brothers club and a Netflix club.

Sacramento State is the only university in California, and one of only two on the West Coast, that supports its power engineering program with a protection relay-testing and real-time simulation lab.

Some of our students in the psychology department working under Dr. Becky Penrod do incredible research on children with autism who have feeding disorders, while our students in health-related fields are fortunate enough to practice on real-life cadavers.

Our geology department holds a rather successful rock auction each year, and our business department gives a select amount of students the opportunity to practice handling real money on the stock market.

All that being said, I do not understand how anyone could say our school is boring or uneventful. Yet, many still do. Though more often than not, students who complain about these issues do so only because they choose not to get involved with anything on campus.

I am proud to be a Sac State Hornet, because despite all the things we complain about- like how hard it is to get into classes and how parking could be better- I have genuinely enjoyed my time here.

It is thanks to this campus that I have gained so many great relationships and have had so many wonderful opportunities.

For example, as I type up this story, I am on a plane to Seattle for a conference for which all of my expenses have been paid for, all thanks to my association with the Rotaract Club on campus.

I have two stable jobs, both of which are related to things I would like to do in the future that I have obtained thanks to the network I have built here at Sac State. I have met famous people like Adrian Marcel, Sage the Gemini and Kel Mitchell thanks to my past work with UNIQUE.

I also have earned several scholarships that have helped pay for some of my school expenses thanks to several clubs I am affiliated with. Plus, I have had the great honor of traveling to Washington, D.C. as a student ambassador this past summer.

However, I might not have had the chance to do any of these things had I not chosen to become an active and engaged member of our school. Opportunities like these are abundant on campus, but unfortunately they often go overlooked by students who buy into this whole notion of Sac State being nothing more than a “commuter school.”

Truth be told, in life and on this campus, life will be whatever you want it to be. So, if you would rather sit around complaining about how our campus is not as prestigious as UC Davis, or how our sports teams are not as good as those from Ole Miss, be my guest. In the end, you are the only one missing out.

However, if you are willing to make the most out of your college experience and just do not know where to start, here are some tips:

#1: Use your Googling skills for something useful and look up our school’s campus calendar. There you will find a long list of events from multiple different departments posted for students to attend.

#2: Go to the Student Organizations & Leadership office on the second floor of the University Union and ask to speak to a SOAL advisor about what clubs you can get involved with on campus.

#3: Sit in on a meeting for a club that relates to your major or a hobby you may have.

#4: Speak to a desk attendant at the Union about upcoming events they might be hosting.

#5: Go to the UNIQUE office on the third floor of the Union, and ask how you can become a volunteer or ask about upcoming events you can attend.

#6: Speak to a faculty member within your department about programs or research labs that pertain specifically to your major that you should get involved in.

#7: Apply for a job on campus. The WELL just started taking in new applications, so ask a desk attendant at their location for more information.

#8: Join a service organization and get involved on campus and in your community to help a cause you feel passionate about.

#9: Lastly and most importantly, use more of your campus resources. There are so many programs and departments on our campus that are dedicated to helping students be successful in their endeavors that go overlooked. For example, there are workshops on things like how to format your essays correctly or how to navigate Linkedin better which are hosted every week at the Academic and Information Resource Center. The staff at the Peer and Academic Resource Center in Lassen Hall are always eager to help tutor students. The DEGREES project assistants are always willing to help inform students about how to navigate the graduation process. The First Year Seminar room on the third floor of the library provides a place for freshman to get one-on-one peer mentoring.

Needless to say, the list of things you can do are endless. So make the best out of your college experience and get involved.