The Importance of Student Organizations on Campus

My name is Jason Zhou, an active student on campus. Besides pursuing my studies in Architectural Engineering and working as a Peer Career Coach, I’m active in a few student organizations on campus. Student organizations are a great way to socialize and break away from studying and going to classes all day. There any many types of them on campus from student chapters of professional organizations and the Student Government Association to the student-run radio station and Greek life. There are many values to joining a student organization from connecting with those passionate about a certain topic/industry to gaining leadership skills by joining an executive board and technical skills from doing a student organization-sponsored competition.

ASHRAE IIT Student Branch:

I’m the current Vice President of ASHRAE IIT, one of the 8 student organizations affiliated with the CAEE Department. ASHRAE is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration, and sustainability within the industry. They are most known for their four-part handbook and numerous guidelines and standards. On campus, ASHRAE IIT does speaker events with industry experts, tours of buildings, and attendance at Society conferences.
I joined the student organization during my first semester as I wanted to be on the exec board during my time at Illinois Tech. As vice president, I plan and coordinate events, manage the mailing lists, and send emails to members. ASHRAE IIT has allowed me to connect with professionals in the industry and alumni who were former members, invite them to career fairs, and better understand ASHRAE’s impact on the built environment. If you want to join email

Tabling at the 2023 Student Org Fair during Welcome Week

Society for Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES):

I’m the Green Buildings Rep for SEES, another one of the 8 CAEE Department Orgs. SEES was created to help bring together students across all fields interested in environmental engineering and science. SEES hosts weekly events, usually speaker events with professionals who do environmental engineering or sustainability.
I initially joined SEES in my first semester as they were having a speaker around green buildings and had an opportunity to join the exec board as a Major Representative. Since then I have helped shape SEES to a club focused on sustainability as well as bring a green buildings speaker each semester. If want to join email

Group photo from UChicago Keller Center tour in April 2022

Martial Arts Club (Fighting Hawk Tang Soo Do):

I joined the Martial Arts Club at the start of my 2nd year as I needed a way to stay healthy and fit. I knew the club existed as one of my friends is a member. The main style taught is Tang Soo Do, Korean karate. The club is a studio of the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA). If you join the club you can be a member of WTSDA and go through the color belt system eventually becoming a Black Belt around the time of graduation as well as go to competitions throughout the year. Besides learning a martial art you also develop more connections on campus with some becoming new friends. The club is unique as alumni are active with one being the Master Instructor. Classes are Fridays from 5:30-7:30 PM and Saturdays from 10:00-11:00 AM in Keating.

Fighting Hawk Tang Soo Do at WTSDA U.S. Nationals in July 2023

Being in these student organizations allows me to grow my friend base on campus bigger than I initially expected. With being on exec boards for two CAEE student organizations, I am one of the many active CAEE students.

I encourage all students to participate in some sort of student organization on campus throughout their time at Illinois Tech.

Jason Zhou

3rd Year

Architectural Engineering, Minor in Sustainability

By Jason Zhou
Jason Zhou Peer Career Coach