By Kate Daugherty
Malone students have a variety of interests and express those interests through clubs on campus. There are over 65 student organizations that have been active on campus, including Fellowship of Chrisitan Athletes, intramural and club sports, Student Activities Council, Student Senate, musical ensembles, and academic or major-related clubs, such as ZOOM (Zoological Organization of Malone), Enactus, Nurses Student Association, Dead Presidents Society and Department of Theology Students. There are plenty of clubs that aren’t official clubs and are just a group of friends that meet to discuss common interests.
Annie Kadlecek, a senior social work major, and James Kontur, a senior political science and philosophy double major, serve as student body president and vice president, respectively. They discussed the benefits of becoming an official club, which can only be done if the club founders follow the steps laid out by Student Senate.
Official clubs claim rooms for meetings when in-person meetings are safe, but for now, they meet virtually. They enjoy the benefit of having a table at RUSH, an event at the beginning of the fall semester that allows students to view their options and get involved with clubs.
If a club has been officially recognized by Student Senate, they can apply for a budget and get posters and flyers more easily approved to be displayed around campus. Kontur emphasized that having a club registered can help with the longevity of the organization beyond the individual school year because of the benefits they will have access to.
Student Senate had budget meetings with fifteen clubs in the 2020 fall semester, including Kappa Delta Pi, Knitting and Crocheting Club, Wellness Council, Writers Guild and Psychology Club.
Anna Egbert, senior intervention specialist education and early childhood education double major, holds the position of director of administration.
“I’m in charge of planning and putting on RUSH,” Egbert said. “I also run budget meetings for all clubs and organizations on campus.”
Kadlecek also went through the process students should follow if they are interested in applying with Student Senate to become recognized as an official club. The first step is to find other students interested in starting the club and find a faculty member to be the club’s advisor. The students, with guidance from their advisor and guidelines from Student Senate, then write a constitution for the club.
The constitution is sent to the director of administration who will present the constitution to the whole of Student Senate.
“[All members of Senate] will each have the opportunity to read over [the constitution], determine if there are certain things we think should be revised [or] added, [or determine things] we don’t approve of that don’t fit with the constitution of Student Senate or who Malone is,” said Kadlecek.
The club is then notified of the suggestions and works with Student Senate to satisfy the revisions, additions or compromises for solutions that will be finalized and resubmitted to the director of administration.
Each member of Student Senate has an equal opportunity to discuss the constitution and the club’s approval. The weekly Student Senate meetings, held Wednesdays at 9 p.m., allow members to speak about concerns, achievements or feedback in an open forum manner. Once the Senate approves the club with a two-thirds majority, it becomes an official, Malone-sanctioned club.
This year there have not been any new clubs brought to Senate. Kontur attributes this to the challenges presented with COVID-19 and the social distance limits on gatherings both on and off campus. Clubs have had to think outside the box and stay committed to work with the COVID-19 guidelines, but the challenges should not discourage the club from reaching out to its members and hosting virtual meetings.
“I think starting a club right now takes a lot of creativity,” Kadlecek said. “How are we going to reach people or do something that we feel is beneficial to the Malone community?” However, she also encourages students to not let the restrictions on in-person meetings discourage them from creating their club and presenting it to Student Senate.
Overall, Malone has a wide range of clubs that students can get involved with on campus. Some of the more popular and attended clubs are ones that are connected with a major or educational department, like the Dead Presidents Society, Social Work Club, and Malone Nursing Christian Fellowship, but there are clubs across multiple interests for students to be members of.
“I love that there are so many clubs on campus that cover a variety of interests and majors,” Egbert said. “There’s pretty much something for everybody, and if there’s not, there is always the option to go through the process of starting a club on campus.”“I love that we have such a wide range of clubs that I can’t list all of them,” Kadlecek said. “I think that just attests to the fact that… people are able to find something that interests them.”