Katelyn Chostner, Editor-in-Chief

There will be a new student organization at the University of Missouri–St. Louis beginning this fall. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has been granted a charter by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The new club currently has pending status with the Student Affairs Committee of the University Assembly.

PRSA granted a charter to the student organization at the end of last term paving the way for the organization to bring guest speakers to campus, participate in the Bateman competition (a national public relations competition open only to PRSSA students), and to recruit interested students into the field.

This is big news for students working towards a public relations certificate, as well as any other students who may be interested in this career path. Having a chapter on campus will allow students to access many opportunities, such as networking, scholarships, awards and much more. For students who have interests in public relations this chapter is important because it allows them to build a network among PR professionals.

According to the PRSSA chapter’s Faculty Advisor Jill Alexander, Associate Teaching Professor and Public Relations Certificate Coordinator, “PRSA, the professional organization is the largest association of PR practitioners in the country with 22,000 members. The student society, PRSSA, has an additional 10,000 student members that are studying PR all over the country.”

While the chapter helps PR students, it also helps others who are not academically involved in public relations.

According to Alexander, “You do not have to be a PR certificate student, membership is open to anyone who has an interest in PR.”

PRSSA creates a step forward for the public relations program at UMSL. Public relations is a field that is growing nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which projects a 9 percent growth rate for the ten years starting in 2016.  With the help of Alexander and Bryan Daniels, the chapter’s professional advisor, the program has been given the kick it needs to spark more interest. Daniels is an employee of Ameren where he serves as communications executive.

According to Alexander, “Joining PRSSA at UMSL will help students build a network. They will have access to both student members and professional members from all over the country. For example, I was a mentor last semester to a PR student at the University of Alabama.”

Students who take an active role in the upcoming PRSSA chapter will have support from other PR students around the nation. The chapter will also be helpful to students who are preparing for graduation and wanting to establish themselves somewhere new.

“Students at UMSL can connect to PR practitioners in a city where they want to move when they graduate,” said Alexander.

Once the chapter is recognized as a student organization, students will be able to learn about the internships, networking events, and scholarships in their area and across the U.S.

According to PRSSA’s website, “As a Society of more than 10,000 students, PRSSA provides unmatched professional development opportunities tailored specifically for students. Join PRSSA and take advantage of the many ways it can enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career.”

Students wanting to be involved with the chapter will be able to help in the fall. During that time, students who express an interest will help PRSSA gain recognition as a student organization on UMSL’s campus.

The chapter is currently in the stages of recruiting members. If students are interested they may contact Chapter President Annastacia Long, or Faculty Advisor Jill Alexander.