Have you ever wanted to start a club on campus? Or have you ever wondered how an already existing club began? Well now you can create a club through the new Office of Clubs and Organizations in the UC room 2048.
In previous years, clubs and organizations were organized by Student Senate, with Student Trustee Michael Kelly as the head of the program. The proposal to move clubs and organizations was presented at the September 20 Student Senate meeting.
According to Michael Kelly in September of 2017, the Office of Student Clubs and Organizations was prompted when Student Senate realized they couldn’t provide the adequate resources needed for clubs and organizations with all the responsibilities aimed at one person.
Graduate Assistant Anna Gay was hired in late September for the Office of Student Clubs and Organizations. Two UNC student coordinators were hired for the office as well; Zoie Campbell is the training and development coordinator, and Paulo Chiossi is the funding and administration coordinator.
Gay said it’s exciting to have the office fully up and running with two student coordinators.
“There’s definitely been a few bumps in the road in terms of just making sure that we’re handling everything that we’re supposed to during the transition and also communicating with all of the offices and individuals on campus that certain changes are relevant to,” Gay said about the transition. “But overall, I think it’s been a really good transition. One of the things that I see as of evidence of that is that our winter club night, which was January 10, we had about 110 students in attendance which was a pretty good turnout for a beginning of the semester event.”
According to Gay, her main job right now is to coordinate funding, chartering and events for club members and advisers. She is also working on updating the club officer training so that the training is fully online next fall when clubs re-charter. Chiossi’s primary duties are to review funding request, hold funding meetings and review incoming club charters. Campbell’s duties are to oversee club nights, as well as marketing and recruiting events that are coming up.
Gay is in the office 20 hours a week, and the two student coordinators are in the office eight hours a week. If they have an event or meeting elsewhere on campus, they may not always be in the office, but they are present on campus.
One of the main changes from when Student Senate controlled clubs and organizations is that the clubs and organizations office now have an updated funding process. The process is split into two periods per semester in order to extend the funding, as well as giving clubs more time to plan events for later in the semester.
“So we use an event based funding model so all chartered student clubs are eligible to request funding, but the funding can only be for events and the events must be open to all students,” Gay said. “The funding that we’re allocating comes from student fees and so because all students pay those fees, it needs to go to events that all students can attend.”
Another change from Student Senate is the Office of Clubs and Organizations has been able to offer adviser trainings. According to Gay, Kelly was doing a lot of other things when he was in charge of clubs and organizations, that they didn’t have much time to devote to the adviser side of it. Gay said she is hoping to be able to do regular club officer trainings now that the office is fully up and running and fully staffed.
In order to start a chartered club on campus, there are several steps to be taken.
“The process first is just to find three other students that are interested in whatever that club or organization is going to be about,” Gay said. “And then those first three students can serve as officers. Once you have three students the next step is to find an adviser to just kind of help the club out and support them as needed. The adviser has to be a UNC faculty member, staff member, or graduate assistant. After that the club needs to write a constitution.”
According to Gay, the constitution outlines the requirements for membership, it must have an equal opportunity clause, and it includes information about selecting officers. The constitution mentions the process on how to hold elections, remove officers, and how to make changes to the constitution. The Office of Clubs and Organizations has a constitution template on their website.
“So, once they have people who are interested, it’s really just a matter of filling in the blanks in this template and then they submit it online,” Gay said. “We review it to make sure that it’s filled out correctly and if it is, they are chartered.”
There are currently 158 chartered clubs on campus.