Since walking onto the University of Arkansas campus for the first time last year, Tori Pohlner knew that college life meant devoting long hours to studying. Once learning about the multiple student organizations that the university offered, she decided that some of those hours would be dedicated towards campus involvement – a decision she wouldn’t have any other way.
Already in her second year, Pohlner appreciates the close-knit feeling that the university presents to its students. Growing up in northeast Arkansas, Pohlner hails from Fisher, a small town consisting of only 245 people, so coming to the University of Arkansas and mingling with thousands of students was quite a change. Kelly Carter, the Financial Aid Coordinator for the Honors College, helped to guide her through the financial aspects and transitioning phase of entering college. “She’ll go to the ends of the earth to make sure everything is right for all her students. I’m so thankful to have such an uplifting person taking care of me,” she said.
Pohlner not only recognizes this caring and helpful attitude in the University of Arkansas staff, but finds that it is throughout campus and among the students. “Arkansas has around 21,000 [students], but there are always so many people you know and can say hi to when walking to class. You’re not just a number here; the longer you’re here, the more the campus shrinks and it feels like we’re all a big Arkansas family,” she said.
Being a sophomore, Pohlner has made it a point to get involved as much as she can, all while studying for her bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in marketing. “Getting involved on your campus is how you build memories. If you come to school, go to class and go home every night, you’re only getting the run of the mill college experience,” she stated. “When you take a chance and join an organization, you’re going to make connections, form relationships and make fabulous memories.”
Her list of activities is impressive; serving as an Associated Student Government senator for Fulbright College, serving as a “chair on the Campus Safety Committee,” being involved with the Honors College Ambassadors program, and being a member of the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks RSO. As if that is not enough, she previously held the positions of Assistant Social Chair and Parent’s Chair, and is currently serving as secretary for her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. Being involved in the Greek system, some of her fondest memories include the time she spends with her sorority sisters and other Greek members. “For the past two semesters I’ve done what I can to help the Phi Delta boys out with their re-colonization efforts; they call me the house mom,” she said.
To complete her list of involvements, she is a proud member of the Student Alumni Association. Joining when it was still R.E.A.L. Razorbacks, Pohlner knew that getting involved with the Student Alumni Association would be beneficial. “As the year progressed, emails kept coming for all kinds of great opportunities to get involved. I was always too nervous to go to a meeting at the Alumni House alone, but once I finally did, I got to know some amazing people through some great opportunities,” she said. Working alongside her fellow SAA members, she devotes her time to helping with the Homecoming festivities, recruitment tables and new student orientation.
Although she has two more years left of school, her long-term goals of working to “organize public relation and marketing events for a large firm or organization” are in her sights. Eventually, she plans to start her own business and plan weddings. Her plans also include becoming a life member of the association after graduating. “Upon graduation, it’s your duty to continue the legacy for future students. At the same time, your university is a reflection of you. If you want that reflection to continue being the best it can be, you have to contribute to maintain it.” Feeling privileged to be given the opportunity to obtain a quality education; she hopes that her contributions on campus now, as well as after graduation, will benefit those in upcoming generations.