Start an official club on campus


The Student Activities Center, located across from Panda Express in the Memorial Union, provides information on activities and clubs.

Claire Norton

It’s no secret that Iowa State has plenty of clubs and organizations to accommodate almost any and every interest.

With more than 800 to choose from, students at Iowa State can explore different interests and hobbies as well as practice all kinds of skills and leadership opportunities.

However, Iowa State could not offer so many different clubs without an innovative and driven student to start each one.

The Student Activities Center, located in the Memorial Union, as well as its website, walks applicants through each step of obtaining recognition as a new student organization.

According to the website, a couple of things are essential to starting a club or organization — a president, treasurer, a filed and approved constitution, five club/organization members, as well as an agreement form with supporting signatures, on file.

The online Student Activities Center site,, provides resources to help make each club and organization a success.

Links provide access to tools such as Iowa State business cards, ClubFest sign-ups, constitution guidelines and fundraising options are all accessible via the SAC’s Resources for Organizations webpage.

“My recommendation is to know what tier your club is in,” said Brendan Favo, president of the Rube Goldberg Club. “We wanted to use Cy in our club logo. However, because we were a tier-three club, we weren’t able to.”

The three tiers of Student Organizations are: sponsored, affiliated and registered.

The purposes of these are to classify the level of recognition provided by the university in order to determine how closely the club is related to the university and its beliefs.

Each tier has its limitations and restrictions, as well as benefits and allowances. Campus organizations are not broken into tiers and are so mostly because of the volunteering, scholarship and educational factors affiliated.

The process of becoming an official club generally takes about a month, depending on how well prepared its founders are.

“[The Rube Goldberg Club] registered the second week of school,” Favo said. “We had already wrote the constitution and gotten the signatures before we left for Summer Break.”

The goal of every club is to gain more people and, in turn, more interest. For each club recognized as an official student organization, they are able to be found easily and are able to offer more because of certain allocations from the Student Activities Center.

Alexis Nicholson, president of Cardinal and Gold Advertising Agency, said this club had been around for quite some time at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication, but was not officially recognized by Iowa State until this year.

“I hoped that by having the organization recognized, more students would be aware of our club and what we do,” Nicholson said.

If there is a club idea that is nothing similar to what is already offered, the easiest and most convenient way to be recognized officially is to simply go online and follow each step on starting a new organization.