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Youngstown State University offers a broad range of campus activities geared toward enriching and expanding the student experience beyond the classroom. Participating in student government, intramurals, student publications, art and music groups, and student organizations gives students opportunities to make new friends; meet people from backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives different from their own; develop leadership skills; and balance the demands of university life with the need for relaxation and  recreation.

For more information visit the Student Activities page.

Penguin Productions

Penguin Productions is a student group under the Division of Student Experience charged with assessing, initiating, implementing, and evaluating major events for almost 13,000 students on the campus of Youngstown State University.

Penguin Productions conducts campus-wide assessments of students' entertainment interests and identifies possible performers and venues. Performers such as Elton John, Korn, Sugarland, and Danity Kane have come to campus or the downtown Covelli Centre.  Penguin Productions plans Fall Fire Fest and Federal Frenzy, two campus traditions.

Working with Penguin Productions carries no academic credit or pay, but participants get a behind-the-scenes look at events planning, concert staging, ticket management, and other concert business, including meeting the performers.

For more information about upcoming events or becoming a Penguin Productions board member, please call (330) 941-3575.

Student Organizations

There are over 200 student organizations ranging from academic and social awareness to cultural, Greek, and Student Government. Students are invited to take the first step and discover something that engages their interests. Student organization mailboxes are located in the Student Activities Office, Room 2082, Kilcawley Center.

The following is a partial list of the organizations available at YSU. A complete searchable listing of registered student organizations at YSU, is available on the Student Organization Directory web page.

  • African Student Union
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity
  • Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority
  • Alpha Xi Delta Sorority (AXD)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Marketing Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Anthropology Colloquium
  • Armed Forces Student Organization
  • Black Student Union
  • Bowling Club
  • Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Catholic Student Association
  • Chi Alpha
  • College Concervatives
  • College Democrats
  • Dana Flute Society
  • Dance Club
  • Dance Ensemble
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Delta Zeta Sorority
  • Early Childhood Association (YSU ECA)
  • Economics Club
  • Enactus
  • Environmental and Animal Rights Coalition
  • Environmental Studies Society
  • Exercise Science Club
  • Food and Nutrition Students
  • Film Club
  • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Greek Campus Life
  • Guitar Association
  • Hospitality Management Society
  • Ice Hockey Club
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers
  • Interfraternity Council
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity
  • Jazz Society
  • Jewish Student Organization
  • Lacrosse Club Team (Club Sports)
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
  • Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association
  • Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Panhellenic Council
  • Penguin Trombone Society
  • Phi Alpha Theta (National Honor Society)
  • Phi Kappa Phi (National Honor Society)
  • Phi Sigma Rho Engineering Sorority
  • Physical Education Club
  • Rock Climbing Club
  • Rookery Radio
  • Rotaract
  • Rugby
  • Running Club
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (SAE)
  • Sigma Chi Fraternity (SC)
  • Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity (STG)
  • Skating Club
  • Slavic Student Association
  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Society of Women  Engineers
  • Sociology Club
  • Spanish Club (Los Buenos Veciños)
  • STEM  Leadership Society
  • Student American Dental Hygienists Association (SADHA)
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
  • Student Organization for Respiratory Care
  • Student Physical Therapy Association
  • Student Social Work Association
  • Students In Fashion and Interiors
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
  • Theta Chi Fraternity Colony
  • Urban Gaming Club
  • Women's Lacrosse Club
  • YSUnitysogie Society
  • Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Greek Life

Greek Life at YSU affords students the opportunity to gain leadership experience and develop a positive social outlet. There are 11 Interfraternity, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic groups from which to  choose.

For more information visit the Greek Life page.

Department of Campus Recreation - Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center

The Department of Campus Recreation is located in the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center. This state-of-the art facility contains more than 140 pieces of strength and conditioning equipment. Located near the free-weight and cardio area is the Center's impressive rock wall, at 53 feet Ohio's tallest. Volleyball, basketball, and other activities are situated within the multi-purpose sports forum, which contains four courts. The spacious aerobic studios are home to many group exercise classes and are adjacent to the 1/8-mile indoor track, both on the top floor of the facility.

The Andrews Center also includes a tranquil meditation studio, full-functioning locker rooms, and the Wellness Resource Center. In addition to the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the Department supervises programs in Beeghly Physical Education Center, Stambaugh Stadium, and the outdoor complexes (Farmer's Field and Harrison Field).

Participants must have a valid YSU ID card to use the facilities, equipment, services, and programs offered by the Department of Campus Recreation.

The Department is one of the most popular places on campus to be employed. If you are interested in applying for a position, please register for the Semesterly  job fair at the department's or complete the department application, including a completed cover letter and resumé, which can be found online at Campus Recreation

For additional information about the Department of Campus Recreation, please contact (330) 941-3488 or visit the Campus Recreation website.

Campus Recreation Club Sports

The Club Sports program at Youngstown State University provides opportunities for students who desire a more in-depth sports experience than is provided in the Intramural and/or open recreation program. The focus of the Club Sports program blends the aspects of learning new skills, practicing with club members, and possibly competing with other clubs while continuing with your love of a particular sport way long after high school.  It also provides a great opportunity to meet new people and become more involved with campus life at YSU. Broaden your college experience and create or join a Club Sport today. Don't see the club sport you want? Start your own. Contact Tessa Padilla in regards to starting your own team! Tessa Padilla at 330-941-2239 or by email at .

Current club sports include:

  • Bass Fishing
  • Bowling
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Hip Hop Dance
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Men's Lacrosse
  • Men's Volleyball
  • Paintball
  • Racquetball
  • Rock Climbing
  • Running Club
  • Soccer
  • Trap Shooting
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Women's Lacrosse
  • Women's Rugby
  • Women's Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Government Association

The student body of Youngstown State University is represented by Student Government, which operates under constitutional powers granted by the University. The legislative branch of Student Government is composed of representatives from the six undergraduate colleges and the School of Graduate Studies and Research, in proportion to the enrollment of each. All meetings of student government representatives are open to the student body.

Student Government exercises the power to conduct student elections, to recommend students to serve as members of joint faculty-student committees, and to supervise programs financed from its operating budget.

Student Government selects nominees for the two student positions of the University Board of Trustees.

For more information visit the Student Government page.

The Jambar

The University supports two student publications that provide an avenue for students to express their literary and artistic talents. Policies and procedures concerning student publications are prepared, reviewed, and applied by the Student Publications Committee.

The Jambar, a newspaper published once a week, and The Penguin Review, a literary annual, are recognized student publications on campus.

Theater and Dance

All students are encourage to get involved in University Theater, Dance and Film productions and classes. Opportunities exist for students to perform on stage, work in tech and Design areas as well as participate in student film productions. Auditions, Classes, and productions are regularly scheduled throughout the academic year. Please check out our Facebook page "YSU Department of Theater and Dance" to find out about upcoming ways to get involved!

Membership in the Eta Phi chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the country's largest and most active honorary dramatics society, is open to YSU students who distinguish themselves in both theater and scholarship. Membership in dance ensemble is done by audition.

Major University Theater productions are presented in Bliss Hall, the performing arts complex which contains Ford Theater, a 400-seat standard proscenium theater, and the Spotlight Theater. Besides accommodating major productions, the Spotlight Theater also serves as a laboratory for student directed plays, various workshop activities and classroom activities.

With an emphasis on "learning by doing," YSU theater and dance students apply classroom theories and techniques in numerous campus productions. An active guest-artist program has also brought them into working contact with noted practitioners from the professional world. Participation in The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and The American College Dance Festival offer undergraduate research opportunities to students.

For more information visit the Theater and Dance page.


Many campus musical ensembles are open to all students of the University. For these, see the Dana School of Music in the College of Creative Arts and Communication section of this Bulletin.

For more information visit Dana School of Music .


Student and faculty art exhibitions, including two annual graduating BFA exhibitions, are held in the John J. McDonough Museum of Art on the YSU campus. The McDonough Museum also exhibits work of nationally and internationally known artists. The Butler Institute of American Art , a private institution located in the midst of the YSU campus, sponsors two annual competitive exhibitions, the area annual and the national mid-year, to which students are encouraged to submit work. The Judith Rae Solomon Gallery, located on the 2nd floor of the College of Creative Arts and Communication's Bliss Hall, is used throughout the year for various student and faculty exhibitions, in addition to exhibitions of visiting artists. The Student Project Gallery located in the lower addition of Bliss Hall, is a space dedicated to give students opportunities to exhibit their artwork.
The Student Art Association sponsors an annual exhibition of the work of Youngstown State University students. The work is displayed at the McDonough Museum of Art during the month of April, with awards given from various donors. Other area venues also exhibit student work, such as The Oakland Center for the Arts, Trumbull Art Gallery, and the Art Outreach Gallery at the Eastwood Mall.

For more information visit the Department of Art .

Intercollegiate Athletics

Intercollegiate athletics are conducted at Youngstown State University to meet the needs and interests of the entire student body as spectators or participants in healthful amateur sports. Tryouts are open to any student who qualifies under the Youngstown State University, NCAA, and conference eligibility regulations. Men's teams compete in intercollegiate baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis and track and field. Women's intercollegiate teams compete in basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

The University's intercollegiate athletic programs are governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Students are encouraged to participate as athletes, cheerleaders, trainers, managers or scorekeepers in any of the varsity sports. Students who want to try out should contact the head coach of the sport of interest in either Beeghly Center or Stambaugh Stadium.

See the YSU Athletics website for more information.

Honorary Organizations

Honorary organizations related to academic fields and departments recognize outstanding achievement by University students. Many of these organizations are local chapters of national honor societies, which provide national recognition and local scholarships.

For more information on honorary organizations in your area of academic concentration, contact the faculty department chairperson of that area, or the Student Activities Office , second floor, Kilcawley Center.

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta - Honorary Premedical Society
  • Alpha Kappa Mu - Historically African-American Honor Society
  • Alpha Lambda Delta - Freshman Honor Society
  • Alpha Phi Sigma - Criminal Justice Honor Society
  • Alpha Psi Omega - Drama Honorary
  • Beta Alpha Psi - Accounting and Finance
  • Beta Gamma Sigma - Business
  • Chi Sigma Iota - Counseling Honorary
  • Eta Sigma Gamma - Health Education Honorary
  • Golden Key - National Honor Society for achievement in all undergraduate fields of study
  • Kappa Delta Pi - Education Honor Society
  • Kappa Omicron Nu - Human Ecology
  • Lambda Pi Eta - Communications Studies
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Omega Chi Epsilon - Chemical Engineering
  • Omicron Delta Kappa - Leadership
  • Order of Omega - Greek Letter Honor Society
  • Phi Alpha Theta - History Honorary
  • Phi Epsilon Kappa - Physical Education
  • Phi Kappa Phi - National Honor Society for achievement in all fields
  • Pi Mu Epsilon - Mathematics Honorary
  • Pi Sigma Alpha - Political Science
  • Psi Chi - Honorary Psychology
  • Sigma Alpha Lambda - National Leadership and Honors Organization
  • Sigma Pi Alpha - Human Resource Management
  • Sigma Theta Tau - Nursing
  • Society for Collegiate Journalists
  • Tau Beta Pi - Engineering Honor Society
  • Theta Alpha Kappa - Religious Studies & Theology
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon - Computing & Information Disciplines

YSU Annual Awards

The University has established a series of awards to recognize excellence and to encourage participation in campus life. The awards are presented annually at the Student Activities Awards Banquet in the spring. Each year students, faculty, and staff are invited to nominate outstanding individuals and organizations for these prestigious awards. Selections will be made by a committee composed of students, faculty, and staff. Details regarding this program and the different awards listed below may be obtained from the Student Activities Office.

Cardinal Newman Service Award

The Cardinal Newman Award is given to a graduating senior who, through service to the Newman Center, Catholic Student Association, the Youngstown State University as a whole, and to the wider community, has embodied Cardinal Newman's motto, thus allowing their own feats to be spoken to others in service and in recognition of the responsibility we each have to care for our neighbor.

Constellation Award-Outstanding University-wide Programs

This award recognizes an outstanding University-wide event sponsored by a registered YSU student organization. The program must be distinguished by its inclusion of the University community and the program's contribution to the quality of student life.

DeCrane-Houser  Award

Scholarship for a student who has been active at the Newman Center. It is in honor of Arthur DeCrane, who was the first Catholic campus minister for Youngstown College and also for the late Judge William Houser, who was active in the Newman Center while going to school here. Judge Houser's family donated a large sum of money to make this scholarship available upon his death.

Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leader Program provides students with an opportunity to develop and refine the knowledge and skills essential to leadership. Students who complete the program receive designation on their official University transcript, cords for their academic regalia, and a YSU Leadership pin.

Gillespie-Painter  Award

To recognize outstanding achievement in support of the Division of Student Affairs at YSU beyond the scope of assigned duties. All members of the Division of Student Affairs are eligible for this award.

The John J. Gocala Service Award

The John J. Gocala Service Award was established by the Student Government Association during the 2008-09 academic year to recognize the commitment and contributions of John J. Gocala during his tenure as YSU Police Chief.

The intent of the award is to recognize one individual within the university community who has gone above and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the first-class reputation and traditions of Youngstown State University.

The individual must truly work to preserve the best interests of the YSU campus and community.

Kocinski Award

The Kocinski Award is given in honor of Marilyn Kocinski, who taught dance at YSU in the Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science from 1960 to 1983.

Her family was responsible for instituting the award in the late 1990s in her memory. The award is presented to a senior student who has played a significant role as a student leader in the YSU Dance Ensemble and who demonstrates academic integrity as well as artistry and creativity in the field of dance.

Libra Award-Outstanding Advisor

The Libra Award is presented to the outstanding faculty/staff advisor of a registered student organization. The award is designed to recognize the contributions and commitment to furthering student leadership development made by advisors.

Dr. Martin T. "Marty" Manning Award

The Martin T. "Marty" Manning Award, established during the 2010-2011 academic year by the Student Government Association, is in honor of the late Dr. Martin T. "Marty" Manning. The award is in recognition of the superior student mentoring of Dr. Manning.

The award is given to a full- or part-time student, administrator, faculty or staff member, or alumnus/a who has exemplified the student-mentoring capacity that Dr. Manning so consistently displayed throughout his Youngstown State University career.

Dr. Charles A. McBriarty Award

This award was established by Student Government during the 1992-93 school year to recognize and remember the commitment and contributions to students and student services by Dr. Charles McBriarty during his tenure as Vice President for Student Affairs. Its intent is to recognize individuals within the university community who have a reputation for being exceptionally student-oriented and who possess the traits, ethics, and friendly style exhibited by Dr. McBriarty.

Edna K. McDonald Cultural Awareness Award

Award to recognize an outstanding individual who has made a lasting contribution to encourage and increase awareness of cultural diversity at Youngstown State University. All faculty, staff, students, and members of the extended YSU community are eligible for the award.

Mentor of the Year

This award honors the faculty or staff mentor who has contributed the most during the past year to the development of a YSU student.

Multicultural Student Services Leadership Award

The Multicultural Student Services Leadership Award recognizes up to two minority students served through the Center for Student Progress who have achieved academic success and demonstrated effective leadership in promoting cultural awareness to the campus and community.

Nova Award-Outstanding New Student Organization

Recognizes a newly registered student organization exhibiting initiative in organizational development and strong potential to contribute to the quality of life as a recognized student organization at Youngstown State University.

Orion Award-Outstanding Student Organization

The Orion Award recognizes an exceptional student organization for its outstanding leadership and service to the University community during the current academic year.

President Cynthia E. Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to a full-time student who has exhibited an extended commitment and dedication to serving the student body through various positions on Student Government.

Sirius Award-Student Employee of the Year

This award recognizes student employees who have made outstanding contributions to their employers and demonstrated skills and commitment above and beyond expectations.

Smith-Murphy Award

The award shall be given to one full-time faculty member each year. The recipient shall possess the qualities of Lester Smith and Gratia Murphy and display a genuine concern for the well-being and success of the students he or she teaches.

Student Government Spirit Award

Given by Student Government to a member of the campus or Youngstown metropolitan community who has displayed enthusiasm for the work of YSU Student Government over the past academic year.

Student Service Award

To recognize an outstanding individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the students of YSU. All faculty, staff (excluding the Divisions of Enrollment Planning and Management, Student Experience, and Student Success), and members of the University community are eligible for this award.

Gina Tenney Memorial Scholarship

Gina Tenney was one of YSU's best and most dedicated students. Before her tragic death in 1985, Gina had been actively involved in campus life and had achieved excellent academic standing. She served in Student Government and was a student assistant in the Student Services Office. She was also active in the University Theater Department. In honor of Gina's memory, the Gina Tenney Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in January of 1986 by the YSU Student Government.


Begun more than 60 years ago, in 1948, the YSU pin recognizes up to five graduating seniors who have achieved academic success and demonstrated outstanding leadership, motivation, and creativity in University and community activities.

The Luke N. Zaccaro Award

The Luke Zaccaro Award is given to a YSU student who may be a member of Student Government. The individual should have done something exceptional for the university, Student Government, or fellow students during the course of the current year.

Other Awards and Prizes

YSU  Leadership Scholarship

The YSU Leadership Scholarship recognizes outstanding students for their contribution to and leadership in campus activities. Each year up to seven students are awarded $600 for Fall tuition and fees.

The Greek Campus Life Awards for Scholarship

Given annually to the fraternity and sorority chapter with the highest aggregate point index and to the member of a fraternity with the highest individual point index, based on the academic work of the previous two semesters. The awards are presented during the spring semester at the annual Greek Sing competition.

Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

A list of upper-class students and graduate students achieving outstanding academic and curricular records.