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What are Student Organizations in US Universities ? How to start a Student Organization? Advantages of being on the Board of Student organization ?

Student Organizations in US UniversitiesOne of the most wonderful things about Student life in US Universities is the Student organizations and their importance in the life of a student. They are well supported by University administration and there are many advantages of being part of a student  org. In this article, I will explain about student organizations in US Universities.

What is a Student Organization in a US University ? How does it work ?

Well, some of us are from small colleges in our home countries and we are not even aware of the importance or the existence of student organizations.  In every school in US, student organizations are a huge component of student life. So, what is it ? Well, as the name suggests, it is group of people sharing a common interest who form an organization. It can be professional, social, athletic, cultural, religious, country, ethnic based, political views, etc.  Few examples of student organizations are :

  • American Marketing Association    ( Professional Org )
  • Democratic student association ( Political Views org )
  • Badminton students organization  ( Athletic Interests org )
  • Indian Student Association ( Country oriented Org )
  • Hispanic Student Organizations ( Ethnicity based Org )
  • Latin and Ballroom dancers association ( Social  Org )

How does a Student Organization Form? Executive Board members, Mission of Student Org ?

A student organization can be formed by any set of interested students with similar interests. It depends on the rules of the school and typically if you have 5 people with similar interests, you can form an organization. All you do is work with Student life Office or Student Organizations Office to formalize the organization.  If you do not what is student life office, read this : What are Student Life, Student Leadership offices and Student Government in US Universities ? How do they help you enrich your Student life ? Depending on the rules and regulations, you will have to write up few lines about the reason for organization, your mission and what your organization would do. For a dancing organization, the mission can be as simple as “ our mission is to connect all interesting dancers and enhance dancing skills by organizing dance events and brining in instructors” . Also, you will have to formally elect the board members like  President, Vice president, Vice President Marketing, Vice president Communications, etc. depending on the student org, you can have as many leadership board positions. These board members help to run the organization ?

What are the benefits of forming an Organization and Formally registering with School’s Student Life office or Student Orgs office?

First major advantage is, you can get Money in the form of Grants for functioning of the Student Organization. You will get money for arranging events, buying supplies or for booking a speaker or going to a conference, etc. The main reason is, Financial support. Secondly, you will get an office space and mail box too.  Depending on the school, you get many added advantages. In fact, it is mandatory to register a student organization. You will get full leadership training, Student life office will train you on how to run an organization, how to do fundraising, how to market for events, how to recruit students for organizations, etc. Think about it, it is amazing free leadership training for you because you are on the board of the organization.

You do NOT need to start a Student Org, you can join if there is already one with your interests.

Well, I tried to explain how to start a student organization and how it is formalized. What if someone has already done all the hard work and formed an organization of your interests? Then you do not need to create another one, you just join the student organization, get to know other students and then participate in elections and get on the board.  It is probably the best way to get involved. Typically most of the established schools have various kinds of student organizations. You do not need to create one. But, if your interests are different, then you can create one..you need support from 5 to 6 people or more based on the rules of University. There are around 200 Student Organizations in the school I currently study. That’s a big number. Some schools have even more…

Check this article : 8 Reasons why you should Join a Student Organization, where I will explain the importance of joining a student organization and how can it enhance your student life as an international student.

Image Credits : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhammasociety/4034236776/


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  1. Hello,

    I am in H4 visa, and i joined to a university in virginia (UNOA) with CPT option, i have a doubt that is the degree from this university is valid and also can i travel outside the state for Job once after getting I20. any restrictions for CPT people.

    planing to file H1B 2013 quota. also.

  2. when we have to join in student orgs after coming to us or in india..i have heard that joining in orgs helps for recieving and intial accomodation for a new student coming to us.. is it true… i amasking it bcoz i dont know any one in us to guide me… plz reply me thank u


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