The benefits of getting involved on campus

For some, being involved on campus is something that people do to occupy their free time. Some want to discover what they are passionate about and others want to give back to the JMU community. In my opinion, the reasoning behind someone getting involved isn’t that important. What matters is that they are involved. I got involved on campus during the fall of my freshman year by joining UPB’s first P.I.T. Crew class. I wanted something fun to do when I wasn’t in class and wanted to meet new people, outside of my dorm.

Fast forward to the present. The 3+ years since that time have far exceeded all expectations that I ever had of my involvement with UPB. Not only have I been able to give back and serve my fellow JMU students, I have made life-long friends and feel so much more prepared to graduate and enter the “real world” next year.  I’ve had the opportunity to hold numerous leadership positions within the organization from Committee Chair to Special Events Director and now as the Vice President of Programming. The experience I’ve gained has been nothing short of incredible. The confidence I’ve gained as an individual and as a leader is only rivaled by my opportunities to better my time management skills and self-awareness. I know it sounds cliché but my involvement with UPB has really changed my life.

I been able to grow as a part of the organization, and the experiences I’ve been a part of provide me invaluable answers and topics of conversation when I’ve interviewed for post-graduation job opportunities recently. My biggest advice, especially to underclassman, outside of my pleading with you to get involved, is to reflect. When I take time to reflect, I realize the value of certain experiences and grow from the opportunities I’ve had in UPB even more.

If you have any questions about my experience with UPB or want to learn more about anything you read in this blog post, feel free to email me at

-Matt Schoner, Vice President of Programming

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