By Samuel Sprague
State and Local Public Policy Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
There are countless student organizations at Grand Canyon University catering to a wide variety of interests. When students cannot find their place in the Medieval Combat Club or the Modern Board Gamers Guild, they can try to start their own and contribute to the GCU club community.
Why Start a Club?
Starting a club can seem like a lot of unnecessary work when informal gatherings can be easier without having to fill out paperwork, fundraising or hosting elections, but there are many clear advantages to forming a club.
- University recognition
- Access to university facilities and equipment
- Opportunities for leadership training
- Ability to request funding from ASGCU
What Can a Club be About?
Clubs at GCU can be about nearly anything, though clubs have to state a clear purpose that falls into seven categories.
- Academic and Honor Societies
- Career and Pre-Professional
- Community and Volunteer
- Outreach and Governmental
- Performance, Visual and Fine Arts
How to Start a Club
Starting a club is a long but important process. Those interested in starting a club must take action to meet several requirements. The following requirements come from the Student Organization Policy Manual:
- Complete the Student Organization Application and petition for 50 student signatures to indicate support.
- Find one willing faculty member, staff member or university administrator who is willing to be and a club advisor and sign the Advisor Agreement for (Part of the Student Organization Application).
- Members of the club must ratify a constitution and bylaws.
- Provide ASGCU a list of student officers with their contact information.
Club leadership must notify ASGCU club advisors about amendments to the constitution/bylaws and follow appropriate channels when fundraising, scheduling events and writing contracts or agreements with organizations. For a full understanding of the expectations clubs must follow, refer to the GCU Student Handbook.
Clubs do not stop with the first year. Every year, a Club Continuation Form must be submitted and the Student Club Coordinator must be notified of any changed in leadership, changes to the constitution/bylaws and any planned discontinuation of the club.
It is important to have a plan for contingency that allows for a President and Vice President to serve at all times and to create a plan for fundraising and creating a budget. Grand Canyon University encourages student organizations create an approved bank account with Canyon State Credit Union and adhere strictly to the travel policies, financial regulations and other guidelines that all clubs must follow.
A club’s survival and growth depend heavily on its online presence. While there are guidelines to follow, clubs are encouraged to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to keep students up to date on events and to help bring in new members. Having a long-term plan for outreach is important for keeping clubs healthy on campus.