By Kiley Petracek
UT’s Student Productions executive board played a casino game together at the Hard Rock Casino during family weekend in October 2022.
Photo submitted by Lucia Sacerdoti
With over 300 clubs at The University of Tampa, according to the Office of Admissions, university students have access to an array of experiences as they learn more about themselves and their interests. In light of this growing number, there are a few student-lead organizations that influence this downtown community on a larger scale such as Student Productions as well as Scuba and Snorkel Club.
The Scuba and Snorkel Club, the self-proclaimed ‘largest club on campus,’ the, had an estimated 200 students at their first meeting this past week on Sept. 6, with an anticipated 130 club-goers coming together for their first beach day event next weekend on Sept. 16, according to vice president Josephine Hoffman. Besides the weekly meetings, the club is based primarily on off-campus aquatic excursions.
“Our goal is for people of all experience levels to be able to experience the underwater world,” said Hoffman. “We have a whole range of opportunities for people to experience Florida in its natural beauty.”
The organization’s growth can be accredited to the fact that they are, “one of those clubs that focus on the experience of leaving campus every other weekend and exploring the world, since that’s what college is all about,” said Hoffman. “You can’t explore the world if you’re still in your dorm.”
Cultivating a community of students with shared interests is the intention of most clubs, but on an individual scale university students choose to get involved to maximize their experiences in college and learn more about who they want to become.
“Pursue hobbies, experience things you want to experience, because this is a time in your life when you can,” reported Frances Bridges for Forbes.
On the other hand, UT’s Student Productions have shown that in order to get involved and discover more about oneself, there doesn’t need to be a monumental off-campus occasion. Student Productions invite students to multiple on-campus entertainment, educational, and interactive events weekly and gives them a chance to be involved by joining the planning committees. For example, there are three planned events happening this week, including ‘Back 2 School Bingo’ and a Mario Kart Tournament.
Even though there are only ten executive members that meet consistently within Student Productions, it has grown into one of the most impactful organizations due to the scale of the events hosted. The strength in limited numbers is exemplified through strong communication and an intimate space created to share ideas.
“Student Productions to me means family. When putting together an event it’s very important that everyone listens to each other’s ideas, respects each other, and we create something fun where students want to engage with us,” said Student Productions president Lucia Sacerdoti. “It means that we have to work together, and that’s what I love about it.”
Even when considering the size of the largest student-led organizations, the values of each come down to caring about one another, finding people that have similar interests as you, and discovering a place of belonging amongst a sea of students.
“We have unintentionally intentionally created a family on campus,” said Hoffman. “Trying to find a group of people with similar interests to people is difficult when you’re in college.”