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Members of the Biology Club display a large turtle shell

Starting a student club can be a way to expand interests

Suppose skateboarding, thrift shops, or drones are your passion, and you’d like to see Purdue University Fort Wayne do more to support that interest. There’s a way to make it happen, and maybe leave a long-lasting individual mark on the university that will live on after you’ve graduated.

If any of this is appealing, you might be interested in learning how to start a Student Government Association-sponsored club.

The university currently sponsors around 150 student organizations, under the categories club sports, departmental, diversity/cultural, honorary, religious, social Greek and special interest. They range alphabetically from the Accounting Society to Upsilon Pi Epsilon (the computer and information science society).

There truly is something to interest almost everyone, and about 10 new clubs have been added this academic year, according to Lynn Herbst-Acevedo, Student Government Association vice president of legislation. 

Steps to get started are available online in a document that spells out the chartering and recognition process. Among the requirements is having at least eight students who are interested, finding a faculty or staff advisor, and building a constitution for the organization. Clubs are not allowed to be discriminatory for any reason and are required to admit any student to their organizations, along with following the student handbook.

“We really push the students so it’s their organization and all student-generated,” said Alex Backer, director of Student Leadership and Student Government Association. “It’s their club and their efforts.”

After forwarding the proposed constitution to the student body vice president using this Qualtrics form, the proposal has to go through the Student Senate’s legislative affairs committee, which can take up to four weeks. The committee approves the constitution, it is forwarded to the senate, and if approved, would need a signature from the student body president. He or she could also veto it. A few final requirements include group officer training.

“Our student clubs are pretty much self-sustained in running events and organizing themselves,” Herbst-Acevedo said. “It really allows for some organizational leadership and professional development as well.  It is really remarkable what they can do to not only help our campus but also our community.”

The best way to get any other questions answered is by emailing [email protected].