Auburn currently has over 500 student organizations registered on campus. This number is growing constantly as students found new organizations and have them approved through the Office of Student Involvement.
“Once [students] apply to become an organization, they will then be invited to the Organizations Board to talk about why it would be important for their organization to charter at Auburn,” said Cameron Eaves, coordinator for Student Organizations and Student Involvement. “From there, the Organizations Board can approve them for provisional status.”
Provisional status gives organizations the ability to operate on campus, though they cannot accept University funds or print T-shirts with their logo, Eaves said. Leaders are also required to attend training and webinars. Provisional status lasts for one year after it is granted to an organization.
“I’ve seen some groups [become approved] in two to three months, and [for] some, it takes about a year,” Eaves said. “Once they go past that year point, they will be contacted to see what’s going on.”
According to Eaves, organizations must also remain in good standing with the University, primarily by having a faculty advisor, having at least 10 members and following Auburn’s Code of Student Conduct.
“As long as there is a benefit to at least 10 students on campus — and that can mean 10 of your friends coming together and talking about a common interest — then the role of a student organization has been filled,” Eaves said.
After being approved, organizations can ask for as much as $10,000 each fiscal year, Eaves said. $7,500 can go towards events on campus for students to attend, $2,200 counts towards travel and registration for conferences and the last $300 covers operating costs, such as opening a bank account and purchasing office supplies. Organizations submit receipts and are reimbursed for their costs if they fall under the restrictions.
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Mac-Jane Crayton is a third-year Ph.D. student in public administration and public policy as well as the president of Dream Mentorship at Auburn University. She has been a member of various organizations during her time at Auburn, including serving as secretary of a graduate capstone project.
“Our goal is to introduce and connect female Auburn students with industry experts and business owners in the Auburn area,” Crayton said. “[We want to] be able to provide mentorship to Auburn students who are interested in either a particular field or growing themselves and their careers. We also include small group sessions, workshops, things related to your career development, personality tests, resume revisions, anything that would help a student grow professionally.”
Dream Mentorship at Auburn University is in the provisional phase, and Spring 2020 is their first semester on campus, with 14 students showing interest in the organization so far. The process began in September 2019 when Crayton met with the Organizations Board in November to be granted provisional status.
“Cameron Eaves was really helpful with the process and telling me what I needed to do,” Crayton said. “A challenge for me was probably getting the word out. This was just an idea that I had, so having to go around talking to people about it and trying to find people interested enough to take a leadership role, since we have to have a president, vice president, secretary and faculty advisor.”
Joe Nisbett is a third-year master’s student in landscape architecture and community planning as well as the president of Permaculture Tigers. He has also been the president of the Auburn University Student Chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects and the vice president of the Auburn University Student Planning Association.
“Permaculture is a holistic, ethical design approach to create beneficial relationships between humans and living systems,” Nisbett said. “The organization educates students, faculty and community members [about] what Permaculture is and advocates for the implementation of permaculture practices.”
Permaculture Tigers was approved by the Organizations Board in November 2019, after a few weeks of satisfying requirements. There are 10 members so far, a constitution and bylaws.
“Throughout my efforts, the Office of Involvement has done an amazing job of being responsive and helpful along the way,” Nisbett said. “As an organization leader, I can quickly ask for help with any topic and someone will get back to me instantly.”
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