For students, club formation can be long, exhausting process

CHALLENGES The process to found a group on campus can often be tedious and requires patience. Kristen DeHaven | Multimedia Journalist

By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer

Many students know they have the ability to start a club at Baylor based on their interests, but the process of chartering these organizations may not be as obvious.

Baylor outlines that students should begin with five basic steps when wanting to begin their own club. The first task is to meet with the Department of Student Activities and for the applicant to review Student Activities policies.

Clubs must have at least one full-time faculty or staff member acting as their adviser. The next step is to complete and submit a charter application. The fall priority deadline is Sept. 20 and the spring deadline is Nov. 8.

“Please note that applications submitted after the final semester deadline will not be reviewed until the following semester,” Baylor’s Student Activities page reads.

The last step in the official process is to attend a chartering boot camp. Student leaders will receive an email from the Department of Student Activities to schedule this.

Another resource available to interested students is meeting with Student Involvement Specialists through Student Activities— they can fill out a form on Baylor Connect and a consultant will reach out to them to make an appointment.

Washington, D.C, senior Claire Costanza re-chartered DIVE, Baylor’s scuba diving club, in spring 2018. An organization is re-registered every year, but if more than two years have lapsed since the last activity, the chartering process starts over from scratch.

“For me, it was a lot easier than [it is for] a lot of other people that are chartering other organizations because we had some kind of guidelines to go by since the club had been chartered prior; we just had to go through a re-chartering process,” Costanza said.

Costanza also said that re-chartering is a time-intensive process, especially considering the risk-management required for an athletic activity such as diving.

“The process is draining in a way because you’re hoping to hear back on whether or not all of the information that you sent to Student Activities is good, and how the process of re-chartering is going. It gets you kind of antsy,” Costanza said. “I know for me that I got to a point where I was just tired and didn’t know if it was worth going through Student Activities to get a dive group together. I got very lucky that the five officers I had in the spring of 2018 were there to help me through the process.”

Despite paperwork and safety hurdles, Costanza’s group is growing. She said DIVE had 30 members attend one of its recent meetings.

Flower Mound sophomore Hannah Yanowitch is currently in the process of chartering a Baylor chapter of the national organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA).

TWLOHA is a “nonprofit dedicated to providing hope and help to people struggling with mental illness,” Yanowitch said.

Yanowitch hopes to complete the chartering process by spring 2020, and she’s already had 40 people informally reach out with interest in joining.

“The Lord just made it really clear that I should do something with TWLOHA or mental health,” Yanowitch said. “So far it has been great— there’s definitely a lot of steps involved, but it has been a really good process. Everybody in student organizations has been super helpful.”

More information about chartering clubs can be found on Baylor’s website.