In a student engagement survey conducted in the spring of 2013, 65.9 percent of responding students indicated that they were involved in five or more clubs or campus organizations. The survey had a 30-percent response rate from the pool of 1635 students — Ohio Wesleyan’s total student population — and 63.2 percent said they hold one to three leadership positions in a student organization.
The amount of time necessary to dedicate to five extra curricular raises questions about the amount of stress laid on students in that position, even if they are taking the bare minimum 3.5 units of coursework for a semester. Dean of Students Kimberlie Goldsberry said she advises students to use discretion when taking on commitments outside of their academics.
“I would always recommend working toward some reasonable balance in all things,” Goldsberry said. “Not all activities take the same amount of work. You could be leading and planning events or just going to the meetings once a week…the quantity of obligations doesn’t say everything.”
Despite their busy schedules, the students seem to be enjoying the work they’re doing. 79.3 percent of students in the survey indicated they were involved in their organizations because they enjoyed the activities involved, even though 85.6 percent reported a “heavy academic workload” as a “key limitation for being involved” in those activities. Dean Goldsberry attributed this, at least in part, to differences in the way people handle a crowded work day.
“I do better when I’m busier, it makes me motivated to plan and schedule around what I have to do,” Goldsberry said. “Somebody else might find that too constricting, so it can be a challenge to strike that balance.”