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The Hilltop


Howard Students’ Campus Involvement Leads to Social Success

Howard University students detail their unique paths to finding community amongst their peers.

Howard University’s annual Organization Fair, which is held during the fall semesters, is depicted in the illustration. The Organization Fair gives students the opportunity to learn more and meet people who are a part of organizations they are interested in. (Ruona Akpareva/The Hilltop)

Amidst Howard University’s bustling campus, are over 250 clubs and organizations. Here, students delve into their passions and sow the possible threads of lasting connections that one can carry forever.

These organizations encompass various interests, including academics, arts, club sports, fraternities, sororities, state clubs and more. All these opportunities are available to build one’s social network, which can assist in curing the struggle to find a community at Howard.

Toli Geshow, a senior accounting major from Colorado, discovered some of his closest friends through social media, including his roommate. 

“I reached out to Kimahri on one of the 2024 Instagram pages and started a conversation that helped us build a foundation. He’s one of my closest friends on campus and we’ve lived together for three years,” Geshow said.  

Geshow holds membership in the Muslim Student Association, Howard Real Estate Club and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). He approached his campus involvement with intentionality, first taking the time to identify his passions which then led to him building more relationships with others.

“It took me trial and error to see what fit my interests,” Geshow said. “The reason why we join clubs and organizations is that it does something for us; it gives us some type of gratitude and some level of happiness. I think that is something to be considered when thinking about which organization(s) to be a part of.”

Some classmates encouraged Geshow to join NABA because of the networking and learning opportunities. It took him a while to see the importance of fellowship with Black accountants, but he’s glad to be a part of it now. 

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“I see the purpose of the organization and the resources they can provide for us. I give credit to all of my accounting friends who opened my eyes and pushed me to have that level of commitment and engagement,” Geshow said. 

The time to create a community at Howard extends further than joining organizations. The option to build relationships with others is possible in dormitories as well.

Mily Lopez, a sophomore computer information systems major from New York, lived in the Harriet Tubman Quadrangle dorm during her freshman year. Lopez believes the Harriet Tubman Quadrangle allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and helped her discover who she was. 

Lopez is currently a resident assistant (RA) in Howard Plaza Towers, East. Through programming and event planning, she would like to create a similar environment throughout her hall.

“Residents moving in for the very first time are leaving their community behind and being forced to create their own. As an RA, you have to give them a welcoming environment and make sure they’re able to socialize and create those bonds that last forever,” Lopez said. 

Takunda Rusike, a senior health management major from Maryland by way of Zimbabwe, took a different route to getting involved on campus by creating a club. Rusike is the founder and president of the women’s rugby team, which currently holds the title of East Regional Champions. Moving forward their goal is to become the first NCAA Women’s Rugby Team at an HBCU. 

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“Because our goals are so large it is important to do it with my friends because we can work well together for long periods. It’s a lot of work, hours and phone calls so having them just makes the whole experience more enjoyable,” Rusike said.

Rusike believes that good friends come with time, and although it can be easy, being discouraged is unnecessary.  

“I didn’t find my true friend group until late sophomore year,” she continued. “Don’t have the pressure of thinking you’re going to find your best friends in week one. It’s important to make sure people have similar values and interests.” 

Getting involved in organizations, ResLife, and classes at Howard allows students the opportunity to meet like-minded people and build friendships. To stay up to date on all organization events on campus visit Howard’s Engage platform.

Copy edited by Diamond Hamm

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