- Our City/Our Campus
Some of your best memories from college will come from the people you meet along the way. But how do you actually meet them? Pittwire student reporter Justin P. Jones compiled the following (non-exhaustive) list of ways to get enmeshed in the Pitt community and beyond. His overall advice? “Don’t be shy: You never know if that person you decided to talk to could end up a lifelong friend.”
Check out the Catalog of Opportunities
Pitt has made it easier than ever to find events, volunteer and research opportunities, thanks to the new Catalog of Opportunities — a one-stop shop for finding ways to engage in the community. Older students may remember the Suitable app, used for Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) credit events; the new catalog uses that platform to integrate all of Pitt’s events into one spot.
Attend Pitt Program Council events
Pitt Program Council (PPC) sponsors a variety of fun, interactive events during the year, which are great places to both try new things and meet new people. PPC events range from the annual Welcome Back Bash to conversations with celebrities such as Noah Cyrus and Keke Palmer. They also host trivia competitions and mindfulness activities, offer tickets to Pittsburgh sports games and all manner of things in between. This organization’s whole purpose is to get you involved, so head out to an event or two.
If you’re interested in planning or setting up these kinds of events, join a PPC planning committee — no prior experience is necessary.
Join a club or intramural sport
Staying active is a great way to maintain health during the schoolyear and meet new folks while participating in physical activity. Pitt offers a variety of intramural sports (now including esports) in men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues. Intramurals don’t require a major time commitment and are a great way to casually participate in fun sporting activity.
For those seeking a more regular athletic environment, Pitt also has many club sports.
Connect to your culture
Leaving home for a new campus can be challenging, and many students seek a slice of their own community to ease the transition. The cultural and ethnic organizations on campus help to serve this purpose. To name a few, the Black Action Society, Asian Students Alliance, Latinx Student Association, Hillel, Rainbow Alliance, as well as many religious organizations, offer programming and events for students. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be of a particular group to participate in a club’s events.
Participate in student government and hall councils
Making your voice heard is another great way to get involved and make new friends at Pitt. Every residence hall on campus has a hall council, part of the Resident Student Association. Participating in these councils, and even running for a position, offers an opportunity for students to raise their concerns about dorm life and suggest improvements and activities.
Likewise, the Student Government Board (SGB) offers such an opportunity for the whole Pitt community. Students need not run for flashy positions like student body president to get involved; SGB has many committees that don’t require any prior experience.
Pitt has many options for students interested in volunteering and community service. Every fall, Pitt Make a Difference Day allows thousands of students to give back to the community, and in the spring the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service offers a similar opportunity (details on these TBD). Many service-related organizations also help students connect to volunteer for specific causes; check out PittServes to find an opportunity that works for you.
Fraternities and sororities
Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority should register for a Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) 101 session, which is required to join any fraternity or sorority on campus — and be sure to check out Greek Week during the week of Oct. 6.
Getting involved in research can be a great way to gain experience, make connections and meet people, but it is often very difficult to know where to begin. Pitt offers First Approaches and First Experiences in Research to help students begin their research journey. These courses introduce students to research methodology and eventually pair them with a faculty member to conduct research for academic credit.
— Justin P. Jones