GSU addresses student involvement

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Caitlyn Oliver

With over 300 clubs on campus, students have a wide variety of choices when looking for a group to join, but issues can arise within organizations including impatience and problems with consistent involvement.

The Office of Student Activities will be hosting a workshop to remedy these concerns today in the Russell Union room 2044. The workshop will focus on how to start a student organization on campus. The event runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The chartering workshops are held twice a month for students in the process of setting up a club.

“The workshop is meant to help students identify the different resources available to them, such as financial opportunities, different training lessons and the benefits of being a registered group through the Student Activities Office rather than an unofficial gathering of students,” Memory Littles, activities coordinator and workshop speaker, said.

Each workshop covers what students need to know to create and maintain a successful student organization. Many students want to start a group but are unsure of where to start.

Many student organizations tend to last as long as the original leader is around to maintain the level of interest and recruit other members.

“Clubs are most successful if they are filling a need or a want within the student body. Having interested students makes all of the difference,” Parrish Turner, junior writing and linguistics major and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, said.

Robbie Switts, president of the eSports Association at Southern and senior marketing major, created his organization between the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters, originally aiming for those interested in Starcraft II, but later adapted as the emerging League of Legends crowd came out in the college scene.

“I’ve personally seen three other clubs die because their leader graduated and no one was around to pick up where they left off. I’m sort of training one of our eSports members to step up once I graduate at the end of the semester,” Switts said.

In order to start a new club, there must be a minimum of four members and an advisor who must be part of the Georgia Southern University faculty. The last step a group must complete before becoming recognized by the university is to fill out the online paperwork posted on MyInvolvement.

“We had twenty-two members at the end of the Starcraft II group but the first meeting including the League players had thirty people. I had thought it would be a good idea to include them in the group to keep the club flourishing since Starcraft was fading out,” Switts said.

Student organizations are dependent on the students running the programs. Students that are interested in the club are more beneficial to the growth and continuation of the club than those who are apathetic to the cause, Turner said.

The best thing for a new club to do is to have a purpose when they start having meetings. The Design Group started out meeting for no specific purpose and did not have a real goal, Ryan Caronongan, president of the Design Group student organization, senior graphic design and graphic communication management major, said.

Switts said, “Not enough group leaders try to change the Georgia Southern experience. They only create niche organizations when they want them to really thrive. They want to create a legacy to leave behind but that isn’t going to happen when people disperse after they graduate.”