The semester may be winding down, but campus life continues to grow as Belmont recently added eight newly-recognized student organizations.
“Student organizations, whether new or already existing, are vital to the campus community as they reflect the culture and environment of the ever-fluctuating life that is on a college campus and with college students,” said Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership (SELD) Sara Stacy. “We don’t look for anything specific as we don’t have a set criteria; however they must have at least eight members beyond the four required positions of leadership, must not be similar to an already existing organization and be congruent with Belmont’s mission, vision and values.”
Students interested in starting a new organization must attend one of the Intent to Organize information sessions at the beginning or end of each semester where the formal application process is detailed. Applications are then reviewed by SELD staff and a sub-committee called the Student Life Council. Recommendations are then made to the Director of SELD for approval.
Affiliated organizations are created by a department or a group of students to assist a department or program in achieving their institutional objectives. The five new affiliated organizations are:
- Belmont Chapter of the American Music Therapy Association for Students (BAMTAS): To advocate for music therapy, educate students about its principles and provide a professional community for students pursuing board certification.
- Belmont Student Emergency Response Team: To train members in preparedness and safety for themselves and others on campus in order to use their skills to help educate the public on safety during different situations that may arise on campus, and to ultimately become a first responder for emergency events on campus.
- National Science Teacher Student Association: To allow members to utilize their intellectual skills to pass along science knowledge to other individuals at Belmont and the greater Nashville community.
- Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society: To recognize individuals who have attained a high standard of leadership in collegiate and community activities, and to encourage them to aspire to higher achievements.
- UNICEF: To inform the student body of Belmont about the cultures and problems faced by children in countries with limited resources, and to discuss and create solutions to said problems, while encouraging campus involvement through teamwork and meeting participation.
BAMTAS President Alex Plasket explained the importance of getting to know one’s future professional colleagues. “I wanted to help start this group modeled after the American Music Therapy Association so that all of the music therapy majors could build a professional and social community together,” he said. “This gives us a chance to get to know everyone, as we will be colleagues in the professional field of music therapy.”
Registered organizations are initiated by a community of students who share a common interest. Registered organizations are student-created and student-led and are not legally tied to the university. The three new registered organizations are:
- 615 Dance Group: To excite and encourage the community through the passion of dance, as well as to allow dancers the freedom to learn new styles, build positive, lifelong relationships and inspire those around them.
- Hiking Club: To bring hikers and backpackers of all skill ranges together to enjoy outdoor excursions, while establishing community among all faculty and students involved.
- Longboarding Club: To bring together a community of longboarders to longboard in the local area, attend official events in the widespread area and plan local events.
The founders and members of these clubs are passionate students who have big hopes for their organizations, whether it be growing professionally, physically or socially.
“We plan to attend as many competitions as we can find that are conveniently scheduled and located. Part of what makes longboarding so fun is skating with people that are better than you and pushing yourself to get better. This makes competitions crucial to the growth of longboarding,” said club founder Nick Jones. “Our biggest goal for this club is to connect longboarders of all skill levels, while developing meaningful relationships and providing longboarding opportunities to Belmont students. We plan to go out and longboard whenever we get the opportunity, whether it be a couple of us just cruising around town, or a whole group of us attending races and other competitions. Whatever it may be, I can’t wait to see what potential this group holds.”
Similarly, hiking club founder and student Kara Reed said, “Ben Oliver and I decided to create the hiking club because we love getting outside and hiking. Unfortunately, our closest friends don’t have the same enthusiasm for hiking as we do. That said, we decided that creating the hiking club would be an awesome opportunity to share our passion with other people who love doing the same thing. I would say our biggest goal right now is getting the correct certifications, equipment and an excited group of hikers to go on a multi-day backpacking trip.”
More information about each organization’s mission and membership process can be found through BruinLink.