At MBU, societies form the backbone of a unified student body. They help students engage in new ministries and provide them with the chance to meet and connect with other students they may not regularly see around campus. Through society, students grow spiritually with their fellow members and participate in fun activities to help them destress from the rigor of college life.
At the beginning of every fall semester, new students have the opportunity to choose their society in an event called Society Rush. They are able to select from five different men’s and five different women’s societies. In order to secure their spots in the society of their choice, they must race against other new students to claim their positions before space fills up.
Overall, society provides numerous benefits for MBU students. We talked with several society presidents to get their perspectives on why society matters. The following list outlines the benefits of societies and how they help students grow both individually and together as a student body.
An Opportunity to Meet New People
First, societies give students the chance to connect with others. One of the main goals of society is to cultivate relationships, especially between those who may not have the opportunity to do so on a regular basis. Sam Lazzell, president of the Phantoms Society, defines societies as “small groups of likeminded students that can help connect those that aren’t involved in other extracurricular activities.”
Societies are consistent outlets where students can make friends and minister to one another. Students who seldom see each other around campus are able to reconnect during society meetings. Through new friendships they cultivate, students gain new experiences and create long-lasting relationships. Kaitlyn Nankey, president of the Arctic Wolves, says of her society, “A lot of girls are willing to be involved and participate. I have also seen people become better friends and just reach out to one another when they know that things are hard.”
Ultimately, society breaks down common barriers between students like busy schedules, different fields of study, and a common hesitance to branch out.
“We have nursing students and education majors and digital media majors all together playing games, praying, and so much more together,” Pumas president Kelsey Morris says. “Joining a society is joining a sisterhood or brotherhood of people who want to invest in you. You can meet so many new friends.”
A Chance for Students to Participate in Different Activities
College often feels like a never-ending flood of essays, reading assignments, and exams. Many full-time students also have jobs outside school. Because of these many responsibilities, time to relax is often the first to phase out. Societies provide a solution to the stress and rigor of college life. At society meetings, presidents have the freedom to plan fun games and uplifting activities to help ease feelings of stress and anxiety.
Many societies also host activities outside normal meeting times. For example, joining a society allows students to participate in society sports. This way, they enjoy the fun of competitive sports without having to commit time and effort to an official team. Anyone can join in society sports—in fact, society leadership encourages as many members as possible to come out and play.
In addition to intramural sports, societies host movie nights, coffee runs, study sessions, and even Nerf gun wars. Societies can even pair up and double-host bigger events like hiking and volunteering at crisis centers in the community. Whether students enjoy sports, movies, or just a refreshing cup of coffee with some good company, society offers many opportunities to unwind and relax.
“Society provides a lot of unique opportunities, like intramural sports, where kids can get active and play sports without the commitment of joining a team,” Diamondbacks president Lauren Harrison says. “Societies will host game nights, movie nights, and other fun get togethers for needed breaks from academics.”
Students Can Join Different Ministries
One of the biggest benefits to joining a society for students is being able to reach people through different ministries. Through society, students are able to get off-campus and minister to people in the community. From making blankets to assisting in different church events, the opportunities for student ministry are almost limitless.
“I believe that the goal of society is to build friendships and to have an outlet to explore hobbies and participate in ministry,” Lauren says. “I want the girls in my society to leave knowing how to serve the community and each other.”
Through society, students participate in ministries geared not only toward the community, but also toward those on-campus. For example, Canine Cuddles is a society-hosted event where families connected with MBU bring their dogs to campus so students can pay $1 to play with them. This activity happens right around spring finals every year and helps students relax between periods of studying.
Also, societies provide an opportunity for students to minister to each other during meetings and activities. Through the friendships they cultivate in their societies, students encourage and built each other up. Thunder president Claire Greene expresses the growth she has experienced in her own society: “I’ve seen a passion for truth in these girls. The way they listen in chapels, jump at ministry opportunities, and serve each other shows a depth of character.”
A Place to Grow Spiritually Together
Society is also a place where students grow together in their relationships with God. At meetings, society leadership has the opportunity to encourage their members through worship songs, Bible studies, and prayer time. Members also have the chance to share testimonies, praises, and prayer requests with the rest of their society.
Matthew Holloway, president of the Raptors society, says, “My guys have stayed true to our vision—having a fire for God and for each other. They have stepped up to help other society members in need and they have brought energy and passion to our society meetings.”
The relationships students form within their societies are founded on their passion for God. As they grow in their own walks with God, they learn also to help their fellow members do the same.
In fact, through ministering to their societies, presidents also find that their own relationship with God experiences great growth. Conquerors society president Dan Sample says, “I have been immensely humbled to see how God can work. My mindset was changed from ‘How can I make my guys love God?’ to ‘How can God work through me to help them the way they’ve helped me?’ My pride was the first item on the chopping block.”
An Opportunity to Develop Lasting Values
Finally, the benefits of society extend far beyond the college years; the values students gain and the friendships they develop stick with them long after graduation.
“[Society helps students to] see the value in people. God created us to be relational. A team works best when every member has their strengths highlighted and weaknesses supported,” Claire says. “Be flexible, be patient, keep God first in any setting and watch Him use the ‘team’ He puts you with for His glory and your growth.”
Societies are a place where students grow and expand their horizons. They provide a needed break from stressful and sometimes isolating schedules. When students join societies, they join in active and encouraging relationships with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Societies are a place that people from all majors, dorms, and classes can connect and depressurize together,” OSA director Luke DeWald says. “They are a great way to cultivate relationships in a low-pressure atmosphere, grow together with other believers, and test out and develop skills and leadership abilities.”
To learn more about societies at MBU, click here.