Look, take it from your 5th year Health Sciences friend who is applying to different grad schools right now. Extracurriculars matter in your application no matter what your degree is. One of the best extracurriculars that you can do is being involved in your favorite club as an executive member or even running one yourself!
Creating your own club could be a highlight on your resume and a conversation starter at interviews. Here is why: 1- You are probably very passionate about what you are doing and interviewers can tell if you have just put something on your resume or if you are actually very passionate about it. 2- You will have a lot more flexibility as a president or founder of the club to make your ideas happen and brag about them to the employers 3- Being the founder and president of Club X will highlight your leadership skills much better than being the treasurer or the secretary of club X. Not that being the secretary or treasurer of a club is bad! Not at all. Its actually a great idea if you want to start at an executive member of one of the clubs that you like and learn from the team so you can later maybe follow their method or even improve on it.
Starting a club from the scratch is actually not that hard. You just have to be passionate about the idea. There are so many clubs at UNBC (we call them NUGSS Student-Led Organizations (SLOs)) and you can probably find a couple that you find interesting and if you didn’t, why don’t you start your own?
A hint! If you want to know what is happening at every single club but you don’t want to follow every single one of them on social media, all you have to do is follow @nugss.slos on Instagram or Facebook and this account will repost any posts that clubs put on their social media feed!
A student-led organisation: What is it?
Student-Led Organizations (SLOs) are clubs run by students at UNBC that are approved by NUGSS.
Why participate in a student-run organisation?
SLOs are a terrific way to explore your interests and meet new people, whether they are academically focused or just for general interests and hobbies. They are one of the best ways to get involved with the campus community and develop meaningful relationships with peers outside of the classroom. Joining a SLO also gives you the chance to gain experience in areas like leadership, finance, fundraising, project management, event planning and execution, public speaking, and presentations. These are all skills that will help you get a job in your field of choice in the future.
OK now let me tell you what you need to know about starting your club; basically, the paperwork plus some tips and tricks that I learned when I started my own club in 2020 (UNBC MS Student Support Club). If you don’t want to read my writing there is actually a video explaining the steps on the NUGSS website (https://www.nugss.ca/starting-an-slo) . This video will answer most questions about the steps involved in starting a club. This video is also helpful for students joining existing clubs and the steps involved in re-establishing your club each year.
What are the steps
1- OK so obviously, the first step is picking a name and a logo. Start with UNBC ——— (UNBC Computer Science Club). Starting your username with UNBC helps other new students to find your account faster on social media. Regarding making logos, there are many apps and websites that you can use online. My favorite website is CANVA. While making your logo, make sure you have checked the Copyright Act work at UNBC. Just search “UNBC Copyright Guidelines” and you will find all the information that you need.
2- Then start following some active Instagram accounts that have similar goals or themes as yours. For example, if you are going to start a computer science club at UNBC, check other universities’ computer science clubs and see what they are doing and have their pages on your radar. This way you will get tons of ideas during the year, and you can tailor your own events similar to them.
3- Ok, perfect Presidente, you got so many ideas in your head and you need a good team around you to make them all happen. Start pitching the idea to your friends and classmates and see who likes to be part of the executive team. If you are a computer science major, you can even ask your prof, to pitch everyone in the class and this way it will look more professional, and you will probably receive more attention! Your executive team is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the club and providing club direction to the membership. NUGSS has put together a guidebook for clubs to help answer many of your general questions around what roles and responsibilities the Executive positions may have. Its called ”STUDENT LED ORGANIZATION GUIDE 2020 available @ https://www.nugss.ca/starting-an-slo .
Note that at least 3 of your executive members MUST be current UNBC undergraduate students. But also note that this means that you can get some help or involve people outside of the university, that might be interested to be part of your initiative. For example, I involved some members of the MS community as our club mentors which really guided us and motivated us to do things! Also, I encourage involving faculty members as your club advisor! Having faculty members in your club is the key to having seminars or guest speakers since they can connect you to many other professionals!
Ok, now the paperwork.
1-Gather a membership list. To become a club recognized under NUGSS, you need signatures from a minimum of 8 people and 75% must be current UNBC undergraduate students.
2- Create a constitution. Look at NUGSS “Sample Constitution” again from the website or go see the NUGSS Office Manager for advice and examples. Every SLO must have a mandate or common purpose to be approved by the Board of Directors and the constitution should state it. I know it doesn’t make sense reading this, but trust me, just follow the format on the sample and you are Gucci.
3- Fill out the “SLO Application Form” for new clubs and submit it to the NUGSS Office Manager prior to the cutoff dates below:
Last but not least, wait for the confirmation email from the NUGSS Office Manager that the Board of Directors has granted your new club Probationary Status for its first year.
The benefits associated with being a recognized SLO under NUGSS
Before you go, let me tell you about all the benefits associated with being a recognized SLO under NUGSS:
- Free room and equipment booking services.
- General liability insurance coverage under NUGSS.
- Opportunity to apply for NUGSS funding through the Monetary Affairs Commission (MAC). SLOs may apply for a maximum of $250 or $500 per calendar year depending on their application and club status.
- Use of the SLO Room (Room 6-392).
5.1 Use of an SLO locker. Recognized SLOs will have access to one free locker on the third floor of the NUSC building pending the availability of available lockers.
- Receiving their mail addressed to the NUGSS office. The SLO may request a mailbox space at the NUGSS office. If the SLO does not have its own mailbox, its mail will be stored in the general SLO mailbox.
- A $20.00 Copy Card will be available to SLOs and is issued every Fall and Winter semester. These cards are not retroactive.
And finally, guys my best tip for y’all after four years of doing undergrad is to set small goals and don’t try to be the best club ever in the first place. Tell yourself that all you want to do for now is set the club up and running with some friends and have an Instagram page and maybe an event once a semester. Then slowly, with the help of your colleagues do more and of course, HAVE FUN! You have full control and you can do many exciting things! How cool is that? Good luck:)