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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 25, 2008

UI introduces new PICK ONE! Program to boost student involvement

The University of Iowa will welcome more than 4,000 first-year students to campus today, Monday, Aug 25 with a new program to increase student involvement in campus activities.

Through the PICK ONE! Program, the university expects all first-year students to pick at least one activity to get involved in during their first semester at Iowa, such as intramural sports, a student organization or a volunteer activity.

Research about student success shows that such involvement typically improves a student's overall college experience because the students have more opportunities to make friends, develop a sense of community, and most important, make meaningful connections between their academic and nonacademic experiences.

"Students' engagement in and out of the classroom can have a tremendous impact on their success in, and satisfaction with, college," said Elizabeth Whitt, professor in the UI College of Education and director of Student Success Initiatives in the Office of the Provost. "Our research here at Iowa demonstrates that our students who do get involved in academic and co-curricular activities benefit from that involvement in so many ways and are more likely than students who don't get involved to achieve the educational outcomes they and we desire. PICK ONE! is a way to motivate all our students to have those essential experiences."

Whitt said the initiative provides additional encouragement for students who might hesitate to get involved during their first semester.

"PICK ONE! says to new students 'Get involved! You'll enjoy yourself and get more out of college if you do,'" Whitt said.

Qualifying PICK ONE! activities will include participation in performing arts groups, honors programs, fraternities, sororities, student leadership programs, multicultural activities, volunteering and campus employment. Students also can choose from more than 400 recognized student organizations on campus.

"This program has tremendous potential to contribute to student success at the University of Iowa," said Tom Rocklin, university vice provost and chair of the Student Success Team Executive Committee. "I encourage faculty and staff members to promote student involvement in all their interactions with our first-year students."

Students arriving for fall 2008 are being notified of the PICK ONE! Program via e-mail, and are encouraged to use a new university Web site -- -- to register their selected activity by November 1.

Several events during Welcome Week will also help students identify activities of interest, including the Student Organization and Information Fair, the Job Fair and the Recreational Services Kick-Off Classic. In September, there will also be a Volunteer Fair hosted by the UI Civic Engagement Program.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jane Dorman, PICK ONE! Program, 319-335-5769,; Tom Rocklin, Office of the Provost, 319-335-0148; Elizabeth Whitt, Office of the Provost, 319-384-3283; Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Sara Langenberg