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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Have an interest? Start your own club on campus

Stony Brook students are encouraged to join clubs and organizations that reflect their interests. There are almost 350 clubs for students to join. However, even with such a wide range of options, students sometimes find that the club they want to join does not exist and that they need to create it themselves.

That is exactly what Michelle Figaro, one of the four founders and the current president of the German Club, did. Last semester, Figaro, a senior studying linguistics and German language and literature, had the idea for a club that celebrated German language and culture.

Starting a club at Stony Brook University requires students to go through a step by step process to become an official club. The first step for students interested in starting a club is creating an SB Life profile. SB Life is a new online tool for students where they can promote and manage their club. Director of Student Activities Anthony LaViscount hopes that this will ultimately help students manage their group. Before this new system, files and passwords could easily be lost, but now everything will be saved in SB Life.

Once the members of the executive board (e-board) have created their accounts, they submit an application for their club.  Diane Redo, assistant director of student activities, then looks over the mission statement of the club and makes sure the club is not too similar to one that already exists. She also checks that the club’s e-board members are in good standing with the university and have at least a 2.0 GPA. She is also there to help any student struggling with the process. “The club wouldn’t have existed without her,” Figaro said.

After a club’s mission statement has been approved, students on the e-board are given access to a Blackboard course for new clubs and are given an exam based on the course.

When the e-board members pass the course, they submit their constitution to Redo for approval. When Figaro was in the process of making the German club an official club, she decided to use the sample constitution that was provided instead of creating her own. As president, she is able to add amendments to it if necessary.

After the constitution is cleared, students receive confirmation that their club is registered on the SB Life portal. According to LaViscount, this takes approximately two to three weeks, though it is not unheard of for the confirmation process to be done quicker. From there, students are able to request space for their club meetings and can request funding after a year. Students also need to re-register their club every year to provide student activities with new information, such as new officers.

Overall, Figaro said she found creating the German Club to be a very positive experience. “It was great, they [Student Activities] definitely treat each idea of a club with respect and they do help you when they finally get in contact.”

As an experienced club creator, Figaro has a few words of advice for those who want to start a club. First, she says, students should know their e-board in advance. While trying to get the German Club approved, the club found that it did not have a treasurer and had to scramble to appoint one. Students also need to have a faculty adviser.  Also, students should know the steps to creating a club and should know where to go.

She also shared ways to promote a new club. Besides the usual flyers, members can go to classes where students may be interested in the club. For the German Club, Figaro spoke to students in German classes after getting approval from the professors, who were excited about the club. Also, she had the club promoted in the European Language Newsletter.

Starting a club is a great way for students to get involved on campus while pursuing their interests. For a full list of clubs and organizations visit, and if the club you are looking for isn’t there, start your own.

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