Some SNHU students see a gap in the student organization roster that they feel needs to be filled. Luckily for them, starting a new organization is a simple way to fill this gap. The 2016- 2017 school year has welcomed roughly a half-dozen new organizations, all of which were started by students.
The process begins in the Office of Student Involvement (OSI). Assistant Director of Student Involvement Michelle Scali along with Tom Balestracci are important contacts for anyone looking to start a new organization.
“It’s great to see students taking the initiative to start a new club,” said Scali.
Students with the desire to begin a new club must meet with a Student Involvement representative in order to obtain all necessary paperwork. According to Scali, one of the most common mistakes that students make is delaying too long and then rushing through the paperwork as a result.
Students are responsible for formulating a constitution, a roster of potential members, a new club questionnaire and first-year budget plan.
These documents are reviewed by OSI and then by the New Club Recognition Committee.
Members of the potential club will then meet with this committee to answer any questions and to present their view for the club.
Sophomore Ashley Kaminski is a member of the New Club Recognition Committee. “You can tell when people are passionate,” said Kaminski. “Most clubs have been really well prepared.”
The final step toward official recognition after being approved by the committee is to have the Student Government Association (SGA) approve the budget. All clubs and organizations are given a start-up fund of $1,500, and it is up to the club executive board to compile a budget.
Last semester saw the conception of three new clubs: Club Tennis, Information Technology Student Association and SNHU Buddies.
So far this semester, two organizations have been granted official recognition: Chess Club and Colors 4 Kids.
Chess Club welcomes chess players of all abilities. Everyone from first-time players to competitive experts are encouraged to join. Chess clocks are also featured for students who prefer timed games.
Colors 4 Kids is a unique service-based organization. They collect broken crayons from restaurants and schools and donate them, half of the crayons go to the Crayon Initiative, a non-profit that remanufactures these crayons and distributes them to hospitals. The other half are melted down, formed into shapes and distributed to hospitals and organizations that care for children.
Two other organizations are currently in the process of becoming officially recognized.
According to Scali, it is essential to consider the sustainability of the club. For instance, if an organization is composed of a large group of seniors, then finding someone to take over the following year may be challenging.
Taking the initiative to start a new club may seem daunting at first, but doing so can provide an exciting and unique leadership opportunity.
“My biggest advice is to find something you are passionate about and find others who are also passionate,” said Scali.