With 11 new student organizations already up and running this semester, Rollins is a place for students with a vision—regardless of what that vision is. From Star Wars and Superheroes to Body Building, from Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Club to Best Buddies, the new clubs on campus stem from diverse backgrounds and interests and represent the varied appeals of a liberal arts education.
With 144 student organizations already listed on the Rollins Get Involved webpage (GetInvolved.rollins.edu), and more being created every semester, it is not hard to find an organization whose message you can relate to. Besides, if an interest is not not represented on campus yet, any student can start a new chapter.
When asked about the motivation behind allowing students to start new organizations, Sarah Christovich, the Associate Director for the Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement, had this to say: “I think some see a need on campus that is not being met or have bonded over a certain topic with a group of people and want to expand their opportunities. I think some enjoy the challenge of creating something. It is one thing to step into a leadership role of an organization, but creating an organization from nothing and then continuing to lead it can be a new level of challenging and rewarding.”
Regardless of the particular reason behind wanting to form a new club on campus, know that you probably are not alone in your interest. Also, fortunately, starting a new organization is not a daunting process. Jasmine Kitterman, founder of the Rollins chapter of The Odyssey and its current Editor-in-Chief, has gone through the procedure herself recently.
“Rollins makes it very easy to start a new organization. The process is as simple as gathering five members and creating a constitution. It was a relatively fast process, which helped us get off the ground quickly. I would recommend starting an organization to anyone with a vision and a few supporters,” she said.
New student organization applications can be found under the “Start New Organization” tab on the Get Involved page. Requirements include a roster of five people, a faculty or staff advisor, a written constitution comprising of mandatory nondiscrimination and anti-hazing policies as well as mission statements, and a club logo. The few restrictions set in place include membership, which must be limited to students currently enrolled and taking classes, but open to all Rollins students including those enrolled in Crummer and Holt, providing an equal opportunity for all students to get involved at every and any level of the organization.
It might be a little too late in the game to start a new chapter this fall, as applications are only accepted during the first four weeks of the semester, but it is never too early to start planning ahead for the spring. After all, the length of time it takes to plan a new organization varies.
According to Christovich, “some students plan for a year before they officially register it; some find a few friends, start the club and then work from there to establish goals and recruit more members. It is all up to the individual students involved.”
Forming new student organizations is great for meeting new people with similar interests and developing leadership skills. It might take some effort to maintain a club and work out the kinks as they come up—especially during the first few meetings—but student organizations are all about teamwork. One thing is sure: where there is a will, there is a way.