Starting a club on campus

Taken at Sharkapaloza, IMAN’s Iran Mahmood and Aisha Jehaludi were able to meet potential new members.

Being a part of something larger is one of the most fulfilling experiences a person can have, and you deserve to give yourself that in any way you can. One surefire way to make an impact or to feel that coveted sense of belonging is to join a club that focuses on something you are passionate about. And if there isn’t already an organization for that? You can make one.

The basics

The Office of Campus Life and Student Engagement requires a few small things from students who want to start a club: a president, IOC chair, treasurer, six active members — which may include the three officers, a faculty advisor and an undergraduate population of at least 51 percent. That might seem like a lot of numbers right now, but it’s easier to find classmates who share your interests than you think. Chat around after class, and don’t be afraid to ask your professor if they are interested in being an advisor, especially if your club’s focus lies within their expertise.

Once you’ve got all that…

Submit your club’s registration on Sharkhub, and look forward to attending new club orientation, which will give you all the information you need to get your club off the ground. According to Gerard Wheeler, Director of Campus Life and Student Engagement, all your club must do to stay active is engage with the student body by hosting events and keeping track of your club members on a semesterby-semester basis. Wheeler recommended attending monthly Inter Organization Council (IOC) meetings to learn more about effective leadership, event planning and more. Clubs are also able to reach out to their IOC Ambassador, assigned based on how the club is categorized, with any questions or other needs.

So, why is starting a club worth the effort?

As stated previously, being a part of something bigger is a satisfying feeling, but really, being involved aids your personal and professional growth in more ways than you might think. Thalia Charles, Graduate Assistant for Club and Organization Engagement, said, “The more engaged you become on campus, we like to say that you find your home away from home. For me personally, when I first came to [NSU] I absolutely hated it, to be honest. Then once I did find organizations that I personally fell in love with, I fell in love with the school, and I found some of my closest friends. That’s what we hope happens for each student — that they find what relates to them and can be more involved and have that school spirit.” Plus, Wheeler added, “On the professional side [establishing a club] gives you those skills of conflict management, running meetings, talking and finding objectives. That’s the overall leadership skills that being part of a club provides.”

Remember…

Starting a club doesn’t have to feel like climbing a mountain. You’ll learn more about NSU, other students and even yourself by putting that effort into your passion. Charles reminded students, “We’re always here to help. No organization should ever feel as if they are on their own. We love our organizations, we love what we do, we’re passionate, we get back to you as quickly as we can and we are here as a support system.”

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