While the Ohio University Recruitment Society, or O.U.R.S, is committed to ensuring multicultural first-year students have the resources and community to return to campus for four or more years, the organization itself also provides members with a sense of family.
Roosevelt Boone, a junior studying sociology and criminology and the president of O.U.R.S, said the organization’s mission goes beyond the recruitment and retention of multicultural students.
“I feel like aside from our mission being recruitment and retention within the multicultural students that attend Ohio University, just the interaction that I’ve had with everybody a part of this student club, it’s really felt like a family,” Boone said. “We all have each other’s backs in every situation (and) are supporting each other in our separate roles on the executive board.”
O.U.R.S hosts events, meetings and organizes community service opportunities for first-year students and others to get engaged with activities on campus. Keishon Lanier, a senior studying sports management and the campus outreach for O.U.R.S, said the goal is to maintain the participation of high school and college students within different organization’s events as well.
The recruitment society has had a longstanding presence at OU. According to Undergraduate Admissions’s website, Stanley Brown and Robert Smith along with other OU students met with the assistant director of admissions at the time, Gordon Holly, and the coordinator of Health Careers Program, Veronica Thomas, about creating a student organization focused on recruiting multicultural students to campus. The Ohio University Recruiting Service was then established in 1985 and its name was changed to the Ohio University Recruiting Society in 1988.
One of O.U.R.S’s biggest events each year is their Variety Show, which the organization hosts with admissions. Lanier said some members of O.U.R.S are also student ambassadors for Undergraduate Admissions. The Variety Show, Lanier also said, reaches both high school and undergraduate students.
“It’s a way for not only the underclassmen to connect with our work, but, like I said, high schools,” Lanier said. “We’ve had parents that came out and see different things, we have some dances, we had a couple people singing.”
Through personal experience, Boone decided to join O.U.R.S and carry on the organization’s purpose of recruitment and retention.
“When I first got here, I barely saw like any multicultural students, and coming from an urban city in Cleveland, I wasn’t used to that type of environment,” Boone said. “So, I wanted to be a part of something whose goal was to increase that diversity.”
It may be difficult for Lanier to pick a favorite event O.U.R.S hosts, but he said it would probably have to be the organization’s silent library event. People come together to play an activity where tasks have to be completed without making anyone laugh. If people successfully complete the tasks without going over the loud meter too many times, prizes are awarded.
“For me the silent library one is fun because it’s more of a funny event,” Lanier said. “I like to see people smile (and) laugh.”
While O.U.R.S has been on campus for almost 40 years, there are opportunities both Lanier and Boone want to bring back, keep around or create. Boone said around 2018 or 2019, the members of O.U.R.S would travel to different high schools in urban areas to talk about their experiences at OU. For Lanier, he said he wants to continue the organization’s exceptional leadership.
O.U.R.S currently meets on Tuesdays in Baker 230 at 7 p.m. where its leaders are welcoming the next generation of students at OU.
“A part of the reason why I joined is because of the whole family-based foundation of the organization,” Lanier said. “It really creates a whole family outside of your family.”