We’ve all been there– lounging about with friends in our residence hall, chatting about our hobbies, when suddenly someone pipes up, “Man, why doesn’t Gannon have a _____ club?” Typically, that is when others chime in with exclamations of, “Yeah! That’d be so awesome!” but then the subject is immediately dropped.
Students typically believe that starting a new club on campus would be too difficult and time consuming to manage, so they rarely ever follow through with their big plans. The reality is, however, that forming a club on campus proves to be not as challenging as one might perceive. All you really need are connections to people and some motivation.
The first step in forming your own club is to do some serious research. Stop by the Student Organization and Leadership Development (S.O.L.D.) office in Waldron or check out their page on gannon.edu.
From there, you’ll be given a list of requirements for starting an on-campus organization. There are three basic requirements needed before submitting your form to the University and the Student Government Association (SGA):
1) Compose a constitution depicting the purpose of the organization and its laws
2) Gather a roster of a minimum 15 undergraduate students
3) Appoint a faculty advisor to oversee the organization
The trickiest part of this process is finding 15 people with a similar interest who want to join your organization. Luckily, we live in the age of social media; practically everyone has a Facebook or Twitter these days. By posting a tweet or sharing a Facebook status announcing the potential club, you can attract potential members. You can also spread the news by telling co-workers, classmates and people that live in your residence hall. The more people that hear about your organization, the more members you will obtain.
The next step is appointing a faculty advisor. An organization advisor can be any Gannon faculty member you feel could help students with any issues they might come across throughout their time in the organization. The faculty advisor can be a favorite professor, a boss or any other faculty member.
After you gather at least 15 members, and appoint a trustworthy faculty advisor, it’s time to write a constitution. The constitution should state the purpose of the organization, talk about requirements for members, discuss duties of officers, as well as explain any amendments or by-laws. Some constitutions will be more structured than others; for example, the constitutions of an ultimate frisbee team will be less extensive than the constitution for SGA. If your organization is international, it’s best to include an international constitution for the organization as well.
Once you’ve assembled a constitution, you can submit the final paperwork to the S.O.L.D. office for evaluation. Next, it will be evaluated by SGA. Then, if approved, your club might become the next big thing on campus! Who would have thought a simple idea could spark a campus-wide organization!