Starting a student organization

Ngoc Vo

Opinion Editor

It is important for students to find their social groups in college, and to fully enjoy and benefit from their time in the university.

Although Troy offers a wide variety of campus organizations students can join, there is no lack of opportunity or interest for students to take charge and to create their own new groups.

After looking through the active student clubs in Troy, Hayden Glass, a sophomore global business major from Dothan, said he could not find quite what he was looking for. He decided to revive a group that best fit his interest in film production.

“The Cinematography Society was actually a club several years ago, but dissolved after all its members graduated,” Glass said. “I restarted the organization last semester.”

According to Glass, he initially took on almost all responsibilities of the group, though the foundation had been laid for him.

“I had a few people I talked to about being a part of the club, but as far as the duties of organizing, re-founding of the group, it was pretty much just myself,” he said.

“Luckily, for the Cinematography Society, there was already a constitution in place, so I didn’t have to write up one and have it submitted through the SGA and that whole process. (My responsibilities) mainly involved a lot of planning and meeting several times and communicating regularly with the professors that I wanted to be our advisers.”

Despite the setup by the original founders of the club, reviving the Cinematography Society was a challenge, Glass said.

“The biggest hurdle is just the amount of time you have to invest in it,” he said. “It will undoubtedly take up more of your time that you expect, and unless you are passionate about what you’re doing, I could see that someone could easily get burned out.”

Glass said his efforts and the work of his group did pay off. He said he was excited to see the Cinematography Society attract more than 20 regular attendees.

Kenneth Tallant, a junior liberal studies major from Troy, experienced a similar situation while reorganizing his club, Students for Social Justice.

Tallant said the group’s faculty adviser and interested members had to recruit an entirely new group of students for the organization because past members had left.

He said although the organization’s constitution and bylaws had already been taken care of, he was responsible for other administrative tasks such as opening the group’s bank account, and holding elections for new officers.

“The hardest thing is to revitalize the group,” Tallant said. “It did disband, and we had to build a team from scratch, getting the new officers to decide upon how we go about certain tasks and activities. There was no one to say, ‘This is how we did in the past.’

“Even though (reviving the club) is difficult, it is an advantage because you have the whole creative control along with your team,” Tallant said.

As a student who started his own club without a previous foundation, Chad Downs, a senior marketing major from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, said his advice was to make sure the team is formed before the organization starts.

“The main thing you absolutely have to have is a core group of people as passionate as you are to maintain a group,” Downs said. “You have to track down the people in Troy who love the same thing as you do or who are responsible and care about their résumé.”

Downs created Documentary Club in 2013, but the organization disbanded after he left last semester.

“We were trying to accomplish too many things at the same time,” he said.

According to Downs, his experience was bittersweet because he did enjoy what he could accomplish while he was involved in the organization.

“If you start a group, you can create any event you want to see happen in Troy,” Downs said.

Having personally been involved in various campus organizations, I find campus involvement important and greatly beneficial. Although hanging out in a social circle is enjoyable, participation in student clubs serves something more. You can learn to be productive, organized and responsible when there are tasks to be done. Being a founder or simply an active member of a club will make your college years more meaningful.

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