Zen and the art of founding a club

Kseny Boklan

There are currently 40 active clubs at Saddleback College, but for those still searching for an ideal social atmosphere, starting a new club is an option.

Students for the Future of America is one such new club, which was started a couple of weeks ago by Dilan Swift, 20, history.

“I started it because I felt that I needed to advocate qualities of integrity, responsibility, and accountability on campus and amongst the student body,” said Swift.

SFA’s first planned event was a CPR certification course for students, held on April 20.

“I felt that in creating this club, I could help myself, students become more prepared and contributory citizens,” Swift said.

Students who feel something is lacking in their social life at Saddleback or feel they want to do more for the community can go to the Student Development Center in the Student Services Center building, Room 208 to find out how they can join a club, or start their own.

“A student would want to start a club because it allows them to pursue their own specific interests while on campus,” Swift said. “Having a club is like creating your own class or organization where you can get together with like-minded students and have fun while engaging in school-wide events, specific club events, or fundraisers.”

Writing a constitution, filling out paperwork, and recruiting members and an advisor is just the beginning of the work required to start a club. The first step in creating a club is going online to the Inter Club Council (ICC) Web site, reading its content, and then filling out the “Intent to Be Active” form.

After completing the form with the names of five students and an advisor, you write a constitution for the new club, complete with by-laws. The Associate Student Government constitution can be used as a guide and is available in SSC 208.

The next step is to fill out the “Petition for Club Approval & Starter Packet.” This form allows you to be placed on the agenda of the next ICC meeting.

Every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., the student council meets with club representatives in order to discuss upcoming events, and deal with different clubs’ funding needs, as well as request publicity for club-planned activities. A representative from each club must attend this weekly meeting.

After approval from the ICC, a new club receives $75 for its budget, according to Connie McClain, senior administrative assistant at the Student Develop Center.

“The amount changes every year and is meant to cover two semesters,” McCain said.

Every time a club chooses to participate in an event coordinated by the ICC, it has an opportunity to gain money for its budget that can be used later to sponsor a specific interest of its club members.

“Many clubs service the community, helping channel students to engaging in community charities and charitable events,” Swift said.

Therefore joining a club looks good on a transcript, and starting one looks even better, said Carlye Woods, 19, nursing, president of the Campus Crusade for Christ Club.

Not all clubs plan community service events. The Astronomy and Physics Club used some of its funds to attend a lecture by a famous physicist. If the students hadn’t belonged to the club, they would have had to pay $180 out of their own pocket to attend.

The Psychology and Psi Beta Club used its funds for transportation, food and attendance costs at the San Marcos Psychology Convention. Clubs that don’t raise the necessary funds themselves have the option of asking for the full amount needed from the ICC.

According to Woods, students start a club when they have a passion for something.

Students that started the Campus Crusade for Christ Club thought that they needed to focus on recruiting new Christians. “We did evangelism,” said Emily Torres, 19, psychology. “We studied for it and reviewed it and tried talking to students. Not to pressure, but to bring awareness.”

“People join a club for a sense of community, to feel like they belong,” Woods said.

Starting a club requires much dedication from the beginning to the end. To get started a student should go to http://www.saddleback.edu/asg/icc.html.

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