BYU-Idaho students have the opportunity to join different school-sponsored Academic Societies.

According to the BYU-I website, Academic Societies were created to, “help students extend and enhance their learning experience, improve professional opportunities, provide a forum for dialogue and interaction among faculty, students, and professionals, provide leadership opportunities and to create bonds of friendship among students with similar professional or academic interest.”

BYU-I offers 84 societies, ranging from criminology to jazz. Students can also apply to create a new society if their field of study is not represented.

William Webb, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, is a part of the Investment Society on campus and said societies are a great way for students to get extracurricular experience.

“The Investment Society had different sections you could be a part of and I decided to be in the portfolio management section,” Webb said. “The school gave the society money, which has built up over the years as students have managed it. It was a $6.3 million-dollar portfolio for them to invest with.”

Webb said societies help students apply what they learn in the classroom into actual hands-on experience, which can also be beneficial to add on resumes when looking for work.

“I can love all the classwork, but it’s not necessarily what I’m going to experience in an actual job,” Webb said.

Mason Wilkes, a junior studying humanities, is a member of the Philosophical Society and said societies are a great way for students to gain additional knowledge, experience and social opportunities.

“If students can find a society or club that either has to do with their major or gets them involved with anything else that they may have a passion for, they will be able to take better advantage of what BYU-I has to offer them,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes said societies create a safe environment for students with similar interests and passions to gather and share ideas as well as get involved in debates, discussions and hear from guest speakers.

“By becoming a member of a society you will discover a fun and healthy way to get involved and learn about your passions,” Wilkes said. “BYU-I has so many unnoticed means of providing priceless knowledge, getting to know others and preparing young adults for future careers. Societies and clubs are perfect providers of each of those things, prompting us to take better advantage of them during our short time here on campus.”