After a group of graduate students from the Huxley College of the Environment was meeting informally for about three years, they decided it was time to be officially recognized as a club. The Associated Students acknowledges The Huxley Graduate Research Working Group after going through the club creation process.
While the AS distinguishes over 200 clubs, there is always room for growth when there lacks a club that meets a group of students’ needs. It is recommended that those interested in joining a club check out the official list of clubs, which can be found at the Club Activities Office’s website, wwu.orgsync.com. If Western does not already have the club a group is looking for, the AS makes it easy for the creation of one.
First, all involved must read the AS Club Recognition Procedure document on OrgSync. The student group wishing to be formed must begin their creation process by drafting an clubs and organizations recognition request and registration form to the AS Activities Council. Because Eleanor Hines, president of Huxley GRWG, had experience with other clubs, she started the process of Huxley GRWG’s creation by drafting its constitution. Once the document was established, the group met with student activities advisor Casey Hayden for a new club consultation so that he could review their document before putting it on the council’s agenda.
In addition to the required documents, the club is required to have a minimum of three officers (president, vice president and treasurer) and two members. Once the activities advisor deems the group is ready to go before the activities council, at least the two top leaders must attend the club orientation session to learn about the resources and processes in order to learn how to have a sustainable club. Upon club approval by the council, access will be granted to OrgSync to organize and invite students to the newly formed club.
Although the process may seem tedious, the Club Activities Office, serves as a resource for students regarding anything club-related and will help those in the process of club creation. “Anything [club creators] have a question for, we pretty much have an answer,” said AS Club Coordinator Jarred Tyson.
One of the reasons many groups decide to become official clubs are to have the ability to reserve rooms and to have the ability to request funding from the AS Activities Council. Because Huxley GRWG plans to host a conference for all graduate departments at Western this year, it now has access to those club benefits.
“We became an official AS club so that the AS could better support our conference in conjunction with the graduate school,” Jacob Lesser, Huxley GRWG treasurer said.
Now that Huxley GRWG is a club, Vice President Jonny Kemp shard his goals for his newly formed club.
“I’ve used this year as a learning experience. I want to try to put together more workshops, at least one a quarter. I also want to bring in more first year students.”
While Huxley GRWG is geared towards graduate students, undergraduate students are encouraged to join who are thinking about becoming graduate students.
This quarter, Huxley GRWG is the only new club, but last quarter there were 18 new clubs created. Generally, clubs don’t get created in the spring, but it shouldn’t divert those who want to have their club form now.
Despite the fact there are 34 academic or departmental clubs, there are many other categories such as social issues, Ethnic Student Center clubs, gaming and recreational. When creating a club, there must be a distinctive category it fits into.
A different perspective to club involvement proposed by Mixed Identity Students Organization President Tiffany Law said, “Although a club brings people together, there are always standard deviations in ideas, and people must learn to work together and respect the differences, especially when they are involved with a club.”
With studies showing on-campus involvement linking to success in school, and a portion of student tuition going towards the Service and Activities Fee Committee to allocate to Student Life, the importance of club involvement is stressed by Tyson. “Clubs are part of the college experience; it develops people,” he said.