Erin Mahn, the associate director for Student Involvement and Leadership (SILC), came into her position three years ago and started asking herself some questions about how registration for clubs could be improved.
The SILC aids in building connections with the Boise State community and students through partnerships on campus. Mahn wanted to support student organizations in a different way and make it easier for them to become a student organization and adjust support according to the needs identified by students.
“We have some organizations that just want to exist and want to do what they are passionate about,” Mahn said. “And then we have some organizations that have really big goals and really exciting plans and they need very different things.”
All clubs and organizations on campus must go through a new three-path system for registering. The process was put into place on Aug. 1 of this year and registration for clubs is open until Sept. 25.
Before the program was initiated, the SILC implemented parts of the program to see how student organizations responded. They started having regular meeting times for larger organizations to meet with advisers by providing more consistent support, according to Mahn.
“We saw success in that we saw reduced frustration from the students, increased sort of timeliness of submission of needed documentation so that we could get what they wanted to do done, and help through the red tape of the university procedures,” Mahn said.
Once a club registers, they choose a path that best fits their needs. A club or organization with five people will most likely need less assistance than a club with 100 people that hosts big events.
Haley Neile is the current President of the Sustainability Club and recently completed the path two training while registering their club for this school year.
“(When) hosting an event, you don’t realize when you’re brainstorming the initial idea how much goes into it,” Neile, a senior biology and environmental studies major said. “I think by having that training it kind of just sets it out for you and gives you a better perspective of what it takes.”
Path one is for organizations that do not need funding and only have a president of the club. Path two is for medium sized organizations that might want to request funds from ASBSU and need a financial officer.
“If they’ve chosen that support, we’re going to respect that and we’re going to support them and provide them with those resources,” Mahn said. “But if a group has chosen a path, one that traditionally has been operating as a two or three, then we’re going to have a conversation with them.”
The third path is for large organizations that host events that need a lot of guidance and assistance from the SILC. By being in path three, the organization must meet with the Student Organizations Coordinator for event advising.
Clubs and organizations can change their path at any time they feel their needs have elevated and need more support. Reegan Jacobson, the ethics officer for the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU), sat in discussion the past school year regarding implementation and creation of the paths.
“This is going to benefit more organizations and allow them to choose what path they want. Then they can decide if they don’t need to go through as much training,” Jacobson said. “There is no reason to go through all the tedious training if they do not need it but it will also allow for more support in general.”
The training for the paths include online videos and quizzes to make sure the officer understand what is needed of them as club president. The quizzes must have an 80% or higher to pass.
“I think it helps our office to provide effective and efficient support for student organizations and the needs that they’ve identified. It also reduces barriers for student organizations to just get started, so we can see them develop a little bit faster and get them on board,” Mahn said.
All of the trainings for the three paths require the president of the club to go through the process and are given an adviser. Path one is not required to have an adviser but if they want to they are able to have one.
As clubs go up to pat two, financial officers must participate in the training as well. Once an organization reaches path three they are required to have in-person meetings with the Student Organizations Coordinator for additional support.
“By giving students these options, it allows for the Organizations to truly pick and choose how they want to be treated by the school,” Jacobson said.