A worthwhile University of Texas student organization can make or break your college experience. Student organizations are one of the best parts of college life, especially at UT Austin. Friends are made, experiences shared, and causes pursued. You can spend your four years here however you like, so why not make a difference with your time?
Last week, I spent a day with a UT student organization named Students Making Impacts through Love & Empathy (S.M.I.L.E.) and was blown away by their St. Baldrick’s Day “Shave for a Cure” event. With help from many local business like Tiff’s Treats, S.M.I.L.E. was able to raise almost sixty thousand dollars to help children living with cancer.
That’s a six with four zeros after it – a huge sum of money going to children who really need it. It took ten minutes for me to catch on to how serious this group takes its work. Everybody who contributed to the event left with many new friends…
…. Not to mention cooler haircuts for Summer (literally). When it comes to doing good, S.M.I.L.E. takes its business very seriously.
S.M.I.L.E. started a couple of years ago when founder and president Sofia came to UT Austin. With a background in community service and volunteerism, Sofia looked around her campus and met people with the will to help others and volunteer, but without the means to do so. On a campus of around fifty-thousand students, Sofia saw the passion to do good sputter and fade away within many Longhorns. Many social clubs existed, but none had the support or flexibility to meet the varying demands of UT’s volunteer community.
To remedy this problem, Sofia and co-founder Danika called together their friends and created S.M.I.L.E. – a student organization with a simple purpose: “Strive to make impacts through the love of what we are doing and empathizing with other individuals.”
UT Austin and the surrounding community have already seen the impact one S.M.I.L.E. can create. The organization is involved with many great causes, like Relay for Life, CureSearch, and the Dell Children’s Hospital. If you attended the Lights of Love 5k race for Austin’s Ronald McDonald House, you probably saw the members of S.M.I.L.E. hard at work.
Aside from S.M.I.L.E.’s reputation for helping people, the group is known for its warmth and friendliness. I can personally vouch for their open-heartedness. It seemed like every member took the time to compliment my new hair-do after the “Shave for the Cure” fundraiser. S.M.I.L.E. members are always laughing, hugging, and generally making people feel at home on UT’s campus. They are the type of people who always remember your name.
Joining a campus social group can be pretty overwhelming (especially if you’re an introvert like me), but Sophia and the other members of S.M.I.L.E. are experts at making people feel comfortable. They will get you smiling in no time!
UT can use more people like that, if you ask me. I have been a part of many UT Austin student organizations. Too many groups take their members for granted. You won’t have this problem with S.M.I.L.E.. This student organization’s members will stop to chat with you between classes – not simply because you are in a group together, but because they honestly care about how you are doing.
I recommend getting to know S.M.I.L.E. if you are the type of person who loves making memories with down-to-earth and happy people. Not to mention raising money for cancer research whatnot. That too.
College is your chance to get passionate about the causes and organizations you care about. Don’t let your good heart go to waste. See how you can contribute to UT and the Austin community through S.M.I.L.E. Personally, I hope to spend as much time as I can spare helping out.
Click HERE to learn more about he next S.M.I.L.E event. I hope to see you at a meeting soon!
Austinot Dusty asks:
Have you been involved with a UT student organization in any way?