Engaged Students - Co-curricular

Life as a lab

IU Bloomington inspires all undergraduate students to embrace curricular and co-curricular practices that engage them deeply in their learning; ensure that such practices are a part of each student’s experience; and create indelible connections between our undergraduates and campus.

This aligns with IU Bloomington Bicentennial Objective One.

Global learning

Goal: Lead in global learning experiences that develop pervasive global intercultural facility.

Update: Thousands of IU Bloomington students travel and learn about other cultures through the Office of Overseas Study, the Hutton International Experiences Program, or the OVPDEMA Overseas Studies & Scholarship Program. They can also experience other cultures on campus, through events such as the annual Global Arts and Humanities Festival  and Many Worlds, One Globe, a set of multiyear programming offered through Hutton Honors College.

In the Fall of 2018, the Office of Enrollment Management launched The Hoosier Experience to encourage new freshmen to take campus activities in the following categories: Academics & Careers, Arts & Humanities, Equity & Inclusion, and Local & Global. In its inaugural semester, 5,932 freshmen participated, with 837 students taking part in three or more events. Learn more about the class of 2022.


Internationalized campus

Goal: Leverage our internationalized campus to expand global learning at home.

Update: IU Bloomington brings students and world cultures together through programming, events, and organizations. The Student Involvement & Leadership Center supports over 700+ student organizations, many with an international focus. Each November, the Office of International Services and the Indiana Memorial Union present the World’s Fare during International Education Week. The event features 20+ international student organizations booths, food samples from different countries, and performances. Over 1,000 students and community members attended in 2018.

The Indiana Memorial Union celebrates the cultures and communities around the world throughout the academic year; the steps of the building even feature the word “welcome” written in over 40 languages. 

Among the IMU events intended to expand students’ experiences and knowledge of international cultures are:

  • Special programming & decoration for holidays such as Lunar New Year, Hanukah, Kwanza, Holi, and Diwali
  • Late Nite series featuring International Night Market, international songs added to weekly karaoke, and story slams and Geek Nights presented by the Arts & Humanities Council
  • Monthly international performance at the IMU Starbucks (February 2019 featured a Bollywood film and a Bollywood demonstration by a student organization)
  • Union Board hosted an international film series in 2018 that featured a Turkish film, an Arabic film, and Chinese film in conjunction with the Hutton Honors College and the Language Flagships, as well as presenting a First Nations Indigenous film series during Native American Heritage Month.

Research experiences

Goal: Promote undergraduate research and creative activity that develops intellectual ambition and leverages the strengths of our outstanding faculty.

Update: Through research funds, technological resources, and outstanding faculty and mentors, IU Bloomington has increased support for undergraduate research, successfully encouraging more students to take part in research starting freshman year.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education reports 110 students received awards totaling almost $100,000 for undergraduate research and unpaid internship scholarship report.


Service & volunteerism

Goal: Develop social responsibility and student leadership to provide immersive service activities that benefit local, state, regional, and global communities.

Progress: IU Corps, publicly launched in March 2018, is a network of IU Bloomington students, campus stakeholders, and community partners who have joined forces to create positive social change in local neighborhoods and around the world. IU Corps has helped bring together IU and community members across the globe for volunteer opportunities and service learning. IU students put in 249,155 measured service hours in fall 2018, for a volunteer-hour impact ($24.69 per hour) of $6,151,636.95. IU Corps is investigating methods for tracking individual student service hours.

In February 2019, IU announced that staff who want to give back to their community may take a paid leave day to participate in an IU-sponsored volunteer event.

More than 230 registered student organizations do service work on and off campus. The new IU Corps Volunteer Central database allows students to find opportunities in the community by interest area online. In a School of Social Work class in the fall of 2018, students secured a grant to create care packages for community members receiving services from the Indiana Recovery Alliance.

IU Corps in action

Individuals in the IU community have also helped support various disaster relief assistance initiatives.

  • De Pueblo a Pueblo, a group of IU faculty, students, and community members, raised money for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (post-Hurricane Maria, fall 2017), and Mexico (post-earthquake, fall 2017).
  • In the Spring of 2018, the IUB School of Ed hosted six University of Puerto Rico grad students who were working on their dissertations, securing housing and mentorship for 10 weeks.
  • IUB hosted seven Puerto Rican undergrads in summer 2018 as part of Research Experience for Undergrads within the Department of Biology in the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Media School Students went to Puerto Rico to document lives and recovery efforts, leading to an exchange program.

Sustain IU

Goal: Develop sustainability understanding through comprehensive programming and engagement with the campus as a laboratory for sustainable practices.

Update: IU Bloomington received a gold score from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System in both 2017 & 2018, as well as in 2011 and 2015. With more than 650 participants on six continents, the STARS program is the most widely recognized program in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university's sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in operations, academics, engagement and planning, and administration.

Since it opened in fall 2017, the IU Campus Farm has received more than 1,200 student visitors. Students engage with the farm through classes, research, and other applied learning. The farm sells produce to IU Dining and supplies some food to the IU Crimson Cupboard, a pantry for food-insecure students, faculty, and staff. The farm has generated positive press for IU Dining and IU, and has already received $70,000 in private donations. With the addition of the campus farm, IU’s real-food use went from 2.83% in 2015 to 6.81% in 2018.

In spring 2018, 602 undergraduate students responded to a survey about real food. The majority of students, 55% to 80%, reported that Real Food qualifiers are important or very important to them. The next survey will be distributed in spring 2019.

Sustain IU has worked with IU Dining, Office of the Vice Provost for Finance & Strategy, and Healthy IU to research and sustainable food procurement at IU. “Sustainable food” is defined as ingredients that are either organic, fair trade, certified humane, or locally sourced (250 miles) and do not contain known physical and mental health disrupters including artificial dyes, genetically engineered ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup. In Fiscal Year 2017, sustainable food procurement made up 7% of total purchases. 

Story: IU Dining dietitian Rachel Noirot discusses 'real food' campus initiative

Beyond Procurement commitments, increasing Real Food expenditures also aligns with or enhances many current academic initiatives, providing an opportunity to use “campus as a lab,” engage students and faculty in curriculum or research, and publicly demonstrate the practices we advocate for in our curriculum and scholarship. In addition to IU Campus Farm, commitment areas include:

Sustain IU, led by engagement intern Lindsey Nelson, worked alongside Residence Halls Association and campus EcoReps in 2018 to draft and subsequently pass legislation calling for all events held within residence halls to be certified-green events through Sustain IU. This engagement has meant a 780% increase in the number of green events held on campus, with over 4,000 participants, including the Jill Behrman 5K run, certifying for the first time in 2018, with over 2,000 participants.

Implementing green practices at events, no matter the size, can help reduce our waste, conserve resources, and set an example across campus by engaging the community to Sustain IU. This has led to changes in such areas as the dining halls and IU Athletics.

IDS: How IU is working toward zero waste dining halls

Greening Cream and Crimson

To encourage everyone to certify their events as green, Sustain IU has set a goal of certifying 200 campus events by 2020 to celebrate the bicentennial, and our collective impact on sustainability.

In summer 2018, IU Bloomington hosted more than 8,000 Boy Scouts and troop leaders for the National Order of the Arrow. Sustain IU formed partnerships with IU Athletics, RPS, and IU Conferences, using the camp as a pilot for zero-waste events within RPS—many lessons learned are being implemented in dining, RPS, and at the FYE picnic—and IU Events now offers sustainability amenities for conference bids.

Professional development

Goal: Develop workplace savvy and professional confidence through internships in all settings.

Update: Across the Bloomington campus, departments, and schools are helping IU students become working professionals through workshops, internships, and financial support.

Mentoring Services & Leadership Development provides several opportunities for students to work on their professional and academic development. Students can receive mentoring from other students or from faculty.

The Walter Center for Career Achievement hosts several Diversity Career Fair Bootcamps to help students make the most of the career fairs. Students learn resume tips, gain insight into employer expectations, networking tips, questions to ask at the fair, and suggestions on what to wear to stand out in the crowd.

The Walter Center also offers 10 career communities, and maintains a list of job and internship opportunities. It is located in the Office of Admissions Welcome Center at Ernie Pyle Hall. The building was newly renovated in 2018.

Finding community

Goal: Expand living-learning opportunities that develop intellectual depth and community.

Update: IU Bloomington has more than 20 learning communities on campus.

Living-Learning Communities are built on shared interest, with new communities emerging according to what is most important to current students. Examples include the Women in STEM LLC, housing 50 women connected to professionals in the field with the goal of increasing the retention of women in STEM degree programs, and the Civic Leaders Center for students interested in leadership, public policy, and making the world a better place.

Thematic Communities ranging from Outdoor Adventure to Honors Residential Communities to Spectrum, an inclusive community designed to create a comfortable and supportive environment for all students of all gender and sexual identities. 


Developing Leaders

Goal: Develop leadership and community through flourishing student organizations and exploring transcript notation for all of these activities.

Update: The Office of Student Affairs actively engages with student organizations through a new center, workshops, and policies designed to foster leadership and build community amongst these groups. The workshops aim to help students build skills, use their strengths to make an impact, and become leaders in their organizations.

Since January 2019, 199 notations have been added to individual student transcripts. Three notations are currently available: Counseling (added in 2014) and Licensing Completion (added in 2017), both in the School of Education, and SPEA’s Washington Leadership Program (added in 2016). Three notations are under consideration: ASURE in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Vice President for Research Scholar Certificate, and Dissertation Title.

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center is a new hub for all registered student organizations. The center encompasses the areas of sorority & fraternity life, student organizations, community engagement, leadership & inclusion, and an Office of Activities & Events within the Indiana Memorial Union that supports Union Board, Late Nite programming, IU Outdoor Adventures, and Bowling & Billiards.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs & Dean of Students office are working to ensure student organizations will flourish in the future by alignment with university policy STU-01.

This policy requires each registered student organizations to be classified as either a University Student Organization or a Self-Governed Student Organization, which will support the gathering of metrics, such as total number of organization, students involved, and students in leadership positions. A new leadership team in OVPSA is prioritizing communication with and support for student organizations, leadership and community involvement, with increased advising support for the newly named IU Student Government (previously IUSA). An employee will be dedicated to supporting student organizations and the use of BeInvolved, a software that is being assessed for either a rebuild or replacement. Student Organization Workshops will support transition of leadership for student organizations in the spring semester with student leadership assessments, organizational goal setting, recruitment strategies for new members, and executive leadership development.

Among other events, the Dean of Students hosts the Indiana Greek Emerging Leaders Retreat, the Hoosier First Year Leadership Workshop, and the Hoosier LeaderShape Institute, an intensive, high- impact leadership training for 50 students at Bradford Woods over Spring Break (March 2019). In March 2019, OVPSA will host an Anti-Hazing Coalition/panel discussion for up to 3200 attendees that is mandatory for all fraternity and sorority members.

The Big Ten Voting Challenge engaged directly with more than 800 students, registered at least 83 people to vote at events on campus, worked with more than 40 volunteers, and distributed more than 1000 sets of educational materials. On election day in Monroe County (Nov. 6, 2018), 5,430 people between 18 to 24 voted. Bloomington precincts 5 and 18 consist are mostly composed of IU residence halls. Less than 200 voted in those precincts in 2014; in 2018, that number rose to 1,000.