The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


School organizations: one size doesn’t fit all

Before you read this article, I must warn you beforehand that this is the first time I’ve written for The Daily Campus. No, this is the first time I’ve written for any school newspaper. Brandon Bub, the fabulous opinion editor, asked me to write an article out of the blue. I was surprised but excited about this opportunity.

However, I became anxious when he told me I could write about anything I wanted to that concerns the campus. At first I wasn’t sure but after spending a few hours alone with my thoughts, I came up with a topic.

The topic I chose was clubs and organizations on campus. School organizations, I believe, are essential to an institution.

They allow incoming students to make relations and feel right at home. They also allow like-minded people to come together.

Many of the organizations help the community at large, such as ONE headed by junior Roza Essaw.

Organizations also help one to build leadership skills. Senior Fred Leach said, “I think organizations…allow people to develop in other areas other than school that are very important like leadership, interpersonal skills and responsibility.” This is true and I understand the importance of organizations but I don’t believe Southern Methodist University has enough organizations.

I think the amount of clubs is very limited. Yes, I know we have nearly 200 organizations and yes I know that we have various types of organizations, ranging from academic to multicultural, but do you believe that is enough to appease most students’ needs? I don’t think so. To me, many of the organizations appeal to very broad taste and ignore students with more specific tastes.

I don’t blame the organizations, but I blame the process of creating an organization. Unlike most other universities, SMU seems to have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to creating a club. I know it can be very tedious and cumbersome and can take tolls on the student who is trying to create the organization.

One student I talked to said he felt the process was very political, and if the organization committee didn’t like you, they don’t even really give you a chance. SMU wants the organization to be beneficial to the campus. This is good and all but I think it’s very limiting.

Some student organizations can be carefree, lax and just have the sole purpose of accommodating students with certain needs, tastes and wants. It doesn’t have to be helpful for the whole campus, but just for a certain part.

This topic hits close to home because this was a reason I had a hard time adjusting because there were many clubs that did not seem to fit me. Fortunately, I decided to try a few organizations and after several weeks, I found my place on this campus.

Alas, not many students are that lucky. I think SMU should be more flexible when it comes to creating organizations. In University of Texas at Austin, all you need is two people and $50. Here you have to get chartered , something that is usually a year-long, laborious process.

In the end, I doubt the strict rules and guidelines when it comes to creating clubs will change anytime soon. It is something some students will have to deal with.

“Students should try new organizations to broaden their horizons,” freshman Michael Wilburn said. “There are so many great chances that are out there. My advice is just try something interesting, and if you like it continue, if not don’t.” This is true, even though I don’t agree with the way clubs are created here.

I still think students should try clubs they are at least remotely interested in. There are not clubs for everyone, but shunning them will not help any student in the long run. Student organizations are a way that students are groomed to become respected members of society and emerging leaders.

Being an active member helps when you are applying for jobs post-graduation. My piece of advice is keep searching and hopefully you’ll find what you are looking for.

Goke Akinniranye is a sophomore majoring in psychology and sociology with minors in business and human rights. He can be reached for comment at [email protected] 

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