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. Student programming offerings include Welcome Week, Homecoming, YSU Serves Week, and other events throughout the year. 

For more information visit the Student Activities page.

Penguin Productions

Penguin Productions is a student group under the Division of Student Affairs charged with assessing, initiating, implementing, and evaluating major events for over 11,000 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 Zac Brown Band, Judah & the Lion, Migos, and Andy Grammer 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 organizations, Greek Life organizations, and Student Government. Students are invited to take the first step and discover something that engages their interests. Students can also create their own, brand new student organization! Student organization mailboxes are located in the Student Activities Office, 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.

  • Actuarial Science Club
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority
  • Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity
  • Alpha Psi Omega
  • Alpha Xi Delta Sorority 
  • 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
  • Catholic Student Association
  • Chi Alpha
  • Club of Jewish Culture
  • College Conservatives
  • College Democrats
  • Dana Flute Society
  • Dana Guitar Association
  • Dance Club
  • Dance Ensemble
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Delta Zeta Sorority
  • Dungeons and Dragons Club 
  • Economics Club
  • Enactus
  • Exercise Science Majors Club
  • Film Club
  • French Club
  • Gerontology Student Organization
  • Guinathon
  • Guins Against Cancer
  • Greek Campus Life
  • Health Education and Physical Education Club
  • Hospitality Management Society
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers
  • Interfraternity Council
  • International Business Organization
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Indian Student Association
  • Italian Club
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness on Campus
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
  • Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association
  • Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Panhellenic Council
  • Pella Penguins
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies Club
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Music)
  • Phi Sigma Rho Engineering Sorority
  • Relay for Life
  • Rookery Radio
  • Room of Requirement
  • Rotaract
  • Saxophone Society
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity
  • Sigma Chi Fraternity
  • Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity
  • Slavic Student Association
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Sociology Club
  • Spanish Club (Los Buenos Veciños)
  • STEM Leadership Society
  • American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) (SADHA)
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
  • Student Organization for Respiratory Care
  • Student Physical Therapy Association
  • Student Social Work Association
  • Students in Dietetics
  • Students In Fashion and Interiors
  • Theta Chi Fraternity
  • Urban Gaming Club
  • Unscripted: An Improv Club
  • Youngstown Penguin Hackers
  • YSUnity
  • YSUscape
  • Zeta Tau Alpha 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.

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 five 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.

Student Media

The University supports multiple student media outlets.  Students can showcase their talents through The Guin, a digital yearbook; The Jambar, a weekly newspaper; The Penguin Review, an annual literary magazine; The Yo Magazine, an annual magazine; JambarTV, a weekly news broadcast; and Rookery Radio, an online radio station.

Student media is student run.  Policies and procedures concerning student publications are prepared, reviewed and applied by the Student Media Committee. 

Department of Campus Recreation - Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center

The Department of Campus Recreation provides diverse and intentional programming to meet the YSU community with diverse needs of our students and the goal of creating a recreational environment that is safe, inclusive, and accessible for users. Our commitment is to provide patrons of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, abilities, religions, sizes, and ages with educational wellness experiences. In doing so, we aim to build and support the physical, mental, and social well-being of the Penguin community. 

CAMPUS RECREATION OFFERINGS INCLUDE:

  • A State of the Art facility including:
    • a 53'  Rock Wall
    • 160 Pieces of Strength & Conditioning Equipment
    • 4 Basketball/Volleyball Courts
    • 1/8 mile track
    • Aerobics Studio/Functional Training Area
    • Adventure Rec Resource Center
    • Elevated Challenge Ropes Course
    • Meditation Studio
    • Racquetball Court
    • SPINNING Studio
    • Wellness Resource Center
  • Adventure Recreation Programs
  • Club Sports
  • Equipment Rental
  • Fitness & Wellness Programs
  • Group X Classes
  • Intramural Programs
  • Memberships
  • Personal Training
  • Stress Relief Programs
  • Youth Programs
  • Birthday Parties
  • Pete & Penny's Summer Camps
  • Teambuilding Opportunities

For more information on all our programs and services please visit https://ysu.edu/campus-recreation

Art

The Art Program Department offers numerous courses that are open to all university students. It also hosts multiple art exhibitions in spaces across campus, including those housed in in Bliss Hall, the John J. McDonough Museum of Art, and Tod Hall.  All students are encouraged to visit and explore the diverse artwork that is created and displayed regularly on YSU's campus.

Student and faculty art exhibitions, including two annual graduating BFA exhibitions, are held 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 Cliffe College of Creative Arts' Bliss Hall, is used throughout the year for various student, faculty, and visiting artist exhibitions. The Student Project Gallery, located in the lower addition of Bliss Hall, is a space dedicated to student art exhibitions.

The Student Art Association sponsors an annual exhibition of the work of Youngstown State University students. Each spring, the work is displayed at the McDonough Museum of Art, with awards provided by various donors. Other area venues also exhibit student work, including The Oakland Center for the ArtsTrumbull Art Gallery, and the Art Outreach Gallery at the Eastwood Mall.

For more information about how you may become involved in Art at YSU, please visit the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts.

Music

The Dana School of Music presents numerous concerts every year, and many of the School's musical ensembles are open to all university students, including Barbershop Chorus, Basketball Pep Band, Concert Band, Dana Chorale, Gospel Choir, Jazz Bands and Combos, Marching  Band, Symphony Orchestra, Voices of YSU (University Chorus),  Wind Ensemble, and many others. For information about these ensembles, other performance opportunities, and the multiple courses that are open to all students, please visit the Dana School of Music pages in the Cliffe College of Creative Arts section of this Bulletin.

Student groups in the Dana School of Music include:

  • Dana Clarinet Society
  • Dana Double Reed Society
  • Dana Flute Society
  • Dana Guitar Association
  • Dana Horn Society
  • Dana League of Composers
  • Dana Piano Guild
  • Dana Tuba-Euphonium Society
  • Dana Vocal Society
  • Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association
  •  The Penguin Trombone Society
  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
  • Saxophone Society
  • Strings Guild
  • Youngstown Percussion Collective
  • YSU Jazz Society

Theatre & Dance

In addition to academic course offerings, Theatre & Dance Program offers all YSU students opportunities to perform on stage, work in tech and design areas, and participate in student film productions. Auditions, workshops, and productions are regularly scheduled throughout the academic year. Department updates and information on how to get involved can be found on the department’s Facebook page – YSU Department of Theatre and Dance. Production season and academic programming updates can also be found at https://ysu.edu/academics/cliffe-college-creative-arts-and-communication/theatre-majors. Attendance at all Theatre & Dance Program productions is free to YSU students.

Membership in the Eta Phi chapter of Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the country's largest and most active honorary dramatics society, is open to YSU students who distinguish themselves in both theatre and scholarship. For more information about APO, please contact the Theatre & Dance Program. Dance.

Major University Theatre productions are presented in Bliss Hall, the performing arts complex that houses Ford Theater, a 400-seat standard proscenium theater, and the Spotlight Theater, a flexible capacity arena theater. In addition to accommodating major productions, the Spotlight Theater also serves as a laboratory for student-directed plays and various workshop and classroom activities.

With an emphasis on experiential learning, YSU Theatre & 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 Theatre Festival and The American College Dance Association offers undergraduate research opportunities as well as access to industry professionals.

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, men's swimming and diving, and track and field. Women's intercollegiate teams compete in basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, 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.

BERNADINE MARINELLI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The Bernadine Marinelli Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student supervisor in the Division of Student Experience in memory of an exceptional educator and student advocate.  Ms. Marinelli, the first female high school principal in the Youngstown City School District, was a dynamic person who helped many students to reach their potential.   

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 LEADER PROGRAM

The Emerging Leader Program provides sophomore 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 medallion 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.

THE HARRY M. MESHEL LEGACY AWARD

The Harry M. Meshel Legacy Award, established during the 2017-2018 academic year by the Student Government Association, is in honor of the late Mr. Harry M. Meshel.  An influential political figure, Mr. Meshel made immense contributions to the valley that simply cannot be measured.  This award is in recognition of the values of: public service, civics, education, culture, and dedication to one's hometown, each of which he brilliantly possessed.

This award is bestowed upon a Youngstown State University student, who may or may not be a member of the Student Government Association.  The individual must have displayed the qualities Mr. Meshel encompassed, specifically the commitment to public service for the Greater Youngstown Community.     

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 LEADERSHIP AWARD

The Multicultural Leadership Award recognizes up to two minority students 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.

REBECCA BANKS SPIRIT AWARD

Given by Student Government to a member of the campus or Youngstown metropolitan community who has displayed the same level of enthusiasm for the work of YSU Student Government or campus community as Rebecca 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 all members within the Division of Student Affairs), 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.

YSU PIN

Begun 70 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.