Although academics are the main focus of college, being a part of a club adds a little fun to the experience. UAA is home to nearly 100 clubs, ranging from The Chronicles of Yarnia to Seawolf Rugby to Wolfy Filmmakers. With such a unique array of activities, there are many ways for students to get involved.
Jane Mastre, administrative assistant for Student Clubs and Greek Life, says that while maintaining good grades and studying are important parts of being a student, joining a club can create a more enriching experience.
“You have to have fun every once in a while,” Mastre said. “I’ve seen [club] officers be a part of a lot of different clubs and involved in the community and still maintain their grades. It really just shows good organization skills and dedication to wanting to be a better leader in the future.”
If the current clubs aren’t catching your eye, UAA also has the option for any student to create a club of their own.
Club creation is done entirely online on the UAA Life page of the university website. Each club requires three students to fill the positions of president, secretary and treasurer, as well as one full-time faculty or staff member to be the club’s advisor. The members of the club must also create and submit bylaws, according to the sample outlined in the registration instructions.
For Shawn Fugere, computer science major and creator of the Super Smash Brothers Club, the most difficult but also one of the most important parts of creating a new club was finding an advisor.
“We are a unique club, so finding someone to get behind us was not easy,” Fugere said. “Finding an advisor who cares about the club is super important and sets you up for success.”
In addition to appointing the required positions, a few more formal steps need to be taken for a club to be officially registered. The president and advisor of the club must each fill out an agreement form. The president, along with the treasurer, must also complete an online student officer orientation. Lastly, the club must present a short overview of their intentions at a Club Council meeting.
Although creating a club from scratch may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be taken on alone. Aleija Stover, economics and environmental studies major, recently created Plates for Compassion, a club focusing on the nonviolence of veganism. Even as the main creator of the club, Stover gives a lot of credit to the other people that helped her make it a reality.
“I think a mistake that a lot of people make when starting a club is not asking for help. I made [Plates for Compassion] on my own, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone,” Stover said. “I found support bringing up the idea to my friends, teachers and staff around UAA.”
Stover finds Plates for Compassion, along with other clubs she’s a part of, to be a great way to get to know other students outside of the classroom and express her interests with like-minded peers.
“You deserve a space to be undeniably, uniquely you,” Stover said.
Emily Wood, an environmental science student in her fourth year, has been involved with a variety of clubs and organizations throughout her college career, including sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha, Glee Club, Chi Alpha and Model United Nations. She encourages students to get involved to make their college experience more valuable.
“If there’s something you’re interested in, just go and do it,” Wood said. “It’s really enriching to a college experience to make personal connections. It deepens your experience and develops yourself in ways you wouldn’t be able to alone.”
For more information on how to create a club, visit the “Start a New Club” tab located on the right side of the UAA Life page on the university website.