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How to start a student organization

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By Sara Juarez

Joining a club gives students the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and raise their self-confidence all the while doing something they enjoy.

Grand Rapids Community College offers over 30 clubs and organizations to its students. These range from organizations such as the Anime Club to the Fashion & Design Club; the Hispanic Student Organization to the Biodiversity Club, and many more.

But, what if a student can’t seem to find his/her niche in any of the numerous clubs available? Simple. They may start their own club.

“They can do that by meeting with me first and then taking the steps after that,” said Liz Tyrell, GRCC Student Life Event Specialist. Tyrell confirmed that GRCC is in fact receptive and encouraging towards students looking to start a new organization. “It’s what we do,” said Tyrell.

Starting a club isn’t necessarily  as difficult as one may assume. Eric Zandstra, one of the founders of the new Swing Dance Club at GRCC, explained how he and his club-mates handled the process. “It wasn’t that hard really, we just divided the tasks between us,” said Zandstra.

So, what exactly does the process of creating a new club look like? Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to start your own club:

Contact the GRCC Student Life Center: First, you must get in touch with the Student Life Event Specialist, Liz Tyrell to review the organization you wish to begin, so that you may know what to expect throughout the process.

Design a Constitution: Next, you must write and create a constitution for your club or organization. This should outline how the club will be run and established. There are constitution templates available online at the GRCC website listed above.

Begin Recruitment: As you begin devising your constitution, you may begin to recruit members and an advisor for your club. You must have at least 10 students currently enrolled at GRCC that are willing to join, in order to be recognized as a student organization. You must also recruit a full time GRCC employee to serve as an advisor. This person should then turn in a letter of intent to the Student Life Director that displays their interest and responsibilities to your organization.

Assign an Executive Committee: You must determine the student leaders who will temporarily be responsible for the formation and management of the club. At least two students who serve on the executive committee must be in good academic and social standing. Once the organization holds its first official election, the positions may be reassigned.

Submit an Application: Finally, you must submit a New Student Organization Application (available online), along with your club advisor and executive committee contacts, constitution, and group roster.

Please visit www.grcc.edu/involvement for a more detailed list of the process, resources, and information on starting a new organization at GRCC.