By Sarah Bransley
Everyone knows that volunteering is important and looks good on your CV, but did you know exactly how many volunteering opportunities there are on campus? There are so many that I can’t count them all. I will, however, go over my two favorite volunteering opportunities.
The first is at the Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS). It’s accessible by car or bus in east Urbana and is the main hub for the entire county’s needy animals. I’ve volunteered here before both as a Critter Care Volunteer and as a Medical Volunteer. I adore their vision and encourage anyone interested in animals who understand the commitment to apply. They have regular volunteer orientations at the local libraries. When I volunteered you signed up for a time slot and were expected to show up every week for 4 months. You start off cleaning cages & can move up “ranks” as you are trained in different aspects of the jobs. If you have experience in the field, talk to the volunteer coordinators as they may utilize your skills!
My second favorite place for volunteering is the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign. Depending on where you live you could walk, but I’d probably stick to the bus system. Certain RSOs volunteer here occasionally on special days, but they need volunteers all the time. If you go to their website you can see all the different jobs they have for volunteers. This museum has been around for 20 years and helps local kids get excited about science and art! What an amazing opportunity to help out the next generation.
If my two favorite places to volunteer don’t pique your interest, try visiting the Office of Volunteer Programs office, or website, to see if you can find something that fits you.
By Sarah Bransley
I recently spoke with a transfer student at an orientation about her troubles accessing her course website and recognized that many incoming students don’t know about our amazing IT support guys at CITES! CITES, or Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services, is an amazing resource for not only for faculty but students as well.
I first interacted with CITES when trying to access the campus WiFi with my smartphone. I called their help line and they helped me figure out how to access the student-only WiFi. The guys I talked with on the phone were really polite, helpful, and got my problem figured out in less than 15 minutes! I didn’t need to call them though, because you can also email them or visit them during walk-in hours. The second time I contacted them it was because I was certain my computer had a virus. A separate program sends student workers to your home to help you fix your computer, as CITES itself does not work on student computers. However, CITES was happy to set me up with the program and get me on my way as well as offer the names of some companies in town who could also do the work.
Not everyone will have my problems with computers. Maybe you’re like the girl I spoke with and only having trouble accessing your classes online. Whether it be on Compass2G, Moodle, or any other university website, CITES can help you! Another online headache can be figuring out how to set up your school email using Gmail. CITES can also help you with that, as well as MS Exchange, Spam Control, and other email issues. Their website (shown below) has links to all of their services, including my favorite, where you can find discounted or free software and software training.
Basically CITES is there to back you up for your technology needs while on campus. If you have a problem and haven’t tried them already, check it out! They explain a lot on their website so you might not even have to contact them to solve your problem. Here’s to hoping you have no technology woes this semester!
By Sarah Bransley
After the holidays I know I feel like my arteries and veins are pushing a concoction more closely resembling a slushie than blood, so getting back to the gym is high on my priorities. Luckily, UIUC has two awesome facilities for working out during the cold weather.
CRCE (Campus Recreation Center East) and the ARC (Activities and Recreation Center) are both decked out with all sorts of equipment for every type of gym rat. They also offer classes and personal training for those of you, like me, who need incentive or a friend to get you to actually go.
The ARC is pretty far away from me at the corner of Peabody and 4th but has a large parking lot and is right on a couple bus routes so it’s easy to access in winter. If you end up in Ikenberry Commons though you’ve got it made since you’re right across the street! CRCE is in a better location for me, located at the corner of Gregory and Dorner right next to Allen Hall.
I’m going to be signing up for the semester pass so I can attend any group fitness class I would like, as I don’t really have anyone to work out with and like to have others to work out with. I’m definitely trying out the free week, occurring the first Tuesday to Tuesday of the spring semester. That way I can see which classes work with my schedule & if I actually like them! I’m hoping to find some good ones at CRCE so I don’t have to trek across campus.
However, I will trek across campus for personal training at the ARC because I love my trainer and the prices for students are extremely reasonable. My boyfriend and I do couples training which lowers the price even more and gives us workouts to do together when we aren’t with our trainer. Trainers are students studying in the field and looking to become personal trainers so they really know their stuff!
The ARC also has the climbing wall! So many of my friends, some of whom are in the UIUC Climbing Club, go there in the afternoons and evenings as a chance to get together and do something fun! In the winter it’s a great way to stay active INSIDE while still hanging out with your friends. For us it was nice because not everyone can be climbing at the same time, so down time is catch up time!
If you’ve never tried out either facility, definitely check them out. They are top notch facilities that you get to attend as part of your tuition and will keep your healthy throughout the New Year!