Contact Us

Student Involvement

Department of Student Involvement
University of Idaho
Commons 302
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 2535
Moscow, ID 83844-2535 
Phone: (208) 885-6331 
Fax: (208) 885-6944

A mother and daughter at the Mom's Weekend 5K run

For Parents and Families

  • What is the Department of Student Involvement?
    The Department of Student Involvement is the department that houses 5 major avenues for students to get involved in. In particular, we are home to ASUI (the UI's undergraduate student government),  The Volunteer Center, Student Media (our campus radio station and newspaper), Leadership Programs (e.g. Fall Leadership Conference) and Student Organizations (over 170 student clubs).
    • The Associated Students of the University of Idaho (ASUI) is the student government at UI. In addition to fulfilling more traditional student government duties like acting as the student voice via Student Senate, this group is also responsible for implementing a lot of programs to improve the student experience. For example, ASUI houses Vandal Entertainment which hosts large concerts, comedians and movies throughout the year. Additionally, ASUI is also home to the Vandalizers (an athletic fan club), the Vandal Fitness Challenge, the Greek Recycling Competition and more. You can find out more information at
    • The Volunteer Center engages students and communities in hands-on learning and transformational experiences creating positive change for the common good. The VC is home to a plethora of service programs ranging from low to high commitment. A campus favorite, the Alternative Service Breaks (ASB) program sends out 12 groups each spring break (11 students and one advisor) to do service around the country. In addition to the ASB program, the Volunteer Center also hosts weekly service opportunities ranging from painting houses via Serving the Palouse to working with youth. Students can also check out the Volunteer Database for current opportunities as well as a list of our community partners.
    • Student Media serves as a training ground for future media professionals and produces content produced to inform and serve as a catalyst for campus discussion.  We are often are the only source of news for stories specific to campus life, including information on ASUI, Residence Life, Greek and other student-specific issues which are not covered by local professional outlets.
      Student Media also provides professional development/training sessions for students in all aspects of contemporary media.  The adviser/manager is an active professional journalist with more than 20 years experience writing, editing and managing publications and websites. Student Media’s five entities are: 1) The Argonaut newspaper 2) Blot magazine 3) KUOI 89.3 FM 4) The Photo Bureau and 5) Student Media Advertising.
    • Idaho Commons and Student Union Programming is a responsibility of the Department of Student Involvement because we recognize that college can be hard and sometime people just need to relax. Some of our free programs include weekly summer noontime concerts, films and Daytime Distraction events in the fall. 
    • Leadership Programs are provided by the Department of Student Involvement because we believe that all students have the ability to be leaders; that leaders are made, not born. Consequently, we provides many opportunities for students to improve their leadership knowledge, skills and abilities through a variety of programs offered throughout the year. 
    • Student Organizations represent the most visible and accessible avenue to student involvement. At the University of Idaho there are over 170 clubs and organizations to suit a variety of interests and needs. These groups range from large pre-professional groups like Mock Trial and Vandal Solutions to smaller specialized groups like Anime or Skateboard Club. These diverse organizations allow students to create and direct the vibrant Vandal co-curricular life and learn skills for their future professional and personal lives. 
  • How will being involved help my Vandal/child/student’s success?

    Students learn by becoming involved…[and] the amount of student learning is proportional to the quality and quantity of student involvement in a program” (Astin, 1984, p. 36.)

    Involvement in campus activities (e.g. student government, student clubs, leadership trainings and service programs) promotes higher gains for students in the following areas:

    • College retention and persistence 

    • Self-esteem and self-awareness

    • Cognitive development and increased intellectual development

    • Developing purpose and autonomy

    • Humanitarianism, cultural participation and diversity and values clarification,

    • Life management skills, organization skills and public speaking skills 

    • Community involvement and Citizenship conflict management 

    • Stronger preparedness for a chosen career 

    (Sources: Astin, 1984, Erwin & Marcus-Mendoza, 1988; Guido-DiBrito & Batchelor 1988; Cooper et al., 1994; Romano, 1996; Sermenrsheim, 1996; Eklund-Leen & Young, 1997 Sutton & Terrell, 1997; Hernandez et al., 1999; Kuh et al., 2000)

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: My Vandal likes to ski/snowboard, where is the nearest ski resort?
    Answer: north, south, east or west (2-3 hours) gets you to (north) Schweitzer Mountain, in Sandpoint, ID, Silver Mountain in Kellogg Idaho, (south)Snowhaven in Grangeville, ID, Brundage Mountain in McCall, ID, Tamarack Resort in Donnally, ID (east) Lookout Pass in Wallace, ID or Montana Snowbowl in Missoula, MT (west) Bluewood in Dayton, WA. They can also book a trip with our fabulous friends at the Outdoor Program to go with a group!

    Question: My Vandal wants to get involved on campus, but doesn't know where to start?
    Answer: Start with the Department Student Involvement! What’s their passion… Leadership? Volunteerism? Journalistic talent? Sports? Music? Have your student take a gander at the more than 200 student organizations and see if anything sparks their interest. We can also schedule a time for your student to meet with another student  in our office to find the best fit. 

    Question: My Vandal identifies as LGBTQ, are there programs groups for him/her, what can I recommend?
    Answer: From weekly events like Nerd Tuesdays and Lavender Lunch to weeklong campaigns like Transgender Awareness Week our LGBTQA office, located in the Teaching and Learning Center has caring staff to support each Vandal.

    Question: My Vandal doesn't want to be around an alcohol scene, are there programs groups for him/her, what can I recommend?
    Answer: A great first step is for you and your student to get to know how to find information and the university wide calendar is an awesome start.

    • Another option is to encourage your student to get involved in a student organization outside of their living group to build a large network of peers that brings a variety of options to engage in campus and off campus activities. There are more than 200 student organizations and more than 20 sport clubs and TONS of intramurals there’s a place for everyone.
    • ASUI Vandal Entertainment hosts a variety of small concerts, lectures and performing arts events each month along with a blockbuster movie series each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    • Have them participate in Late Night at the Rec – a monthly event starting at 9 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center.
    • If your Vandal is an outdoor enthusiast, or thinks they might want to try it out, our Outdoor Program has awesome trips and activities that involve water, snow, hiking/biking and climbing (they provide the gear too).

    Question: My Vandal is looking for things to do on the weekend what can I recommend?
    Answer: Don’t you love that song “Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend” ?! Let the U.Idaho calendar be your first stop to find out what’s happening during the weekend. Next, keep a copy of 101 things to do on the Palouse in your pocket, or rent a zipcar from Parking and Transportation Services and take a roadtrip!

  • Good questions to ask your Vandal/student/child
    Good questions to ask your Vandal/student/child: 
    • What extracurricular activities are you involved in? What are you getting out of the experiences?
    • Are you able to balance all the things you are doing inside and outside of the classroom?
    • Are you making time for yourself? What do you do when you are not doing course work?
    • What do you do on a typical day? What do you do on the weekends?
    • Do you get along with your hall mates or housemates? Where are they from? What are they studying?
    • What kinds of decisions are you making around drugs and alcohol? How do your friends' choices influence you when it comes to drugs and alcohol?
    • Do you understand the Code of Non-Academic Conduct around issues of drugs and alcohol?
    • Have you had a chance to explore Moscow and the surrounding area?
    • How is your financial situation? Do you have enough money to get by? Do you need or want to work on campus or off campus?
    • What are your plans for fall break, spring break? When do you want to come home? Will you be bringing friends with you?
    • Are you having difficulties with ______? Have you talked with your class dean? A therapist at the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services? One of the chaplains?

  • Campus resources
    Campus resources:

    Safety, Violence Prevention, and Assault Reporting:

    On Campus Living Resources:
    On Campus Living Requirements

    Student Conduct Resources:

  • Suggested readings

    Suggested reading:

    • Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years; Helen E. Johnson, Christine Schelhas-Miller; 2003.
    • Empty Nest…Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College; Andrea Van Steenhouse; 2002.
    • The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior to College Life; Laura Kastner, Jennifer Fugett Wyatt; 2002.
    • Let the Journey Begin: A Parents' Monthly Guide to the College Experience; Jacqueline Mackay, Wanda Ingram; 2001.
    • Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Fourth Edition; Karen Levin Coburn, Madge Lawrence Treeger; 2003.
    • When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent's Survival Guide; Carol Barkin; 2000.
    • You're On Your Own But I'm Here if You Need Me: Mentoring Your Child During the College Years; Marjorie Savage; 2003.
    • The Parent's Crash Course in Career Planning; Marcia B. Harris, Sharon L. Jones; 2007.
    • What Color Is Your parachute for Teens: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future; Richard Nelson Bolles, Carol Christen, Jean M. Blomquist; 2006.