Student organizations at Ohio University have been hosting meetings throughout the duration of the semester, and many are seeing an increase in member numbers due to recruitment practices.
There are over 500 registered clubs on Bobcat Connect, allowing students access to a wide variety of organizations. Christine Blay, the treasurer for Alden Book Club, or ABC, said she has seen a substantial amount of new members join the club this semester.
“I know about 100 people signed up at the Campus Involvement Fair,” Blay said. “We have had a decent amount of outreach to readers on campus.”
Blay said she and other executive members began the club during the Spring Semester of 2022. They had about 30 members at that time.
“Our first meeting was actually so great,” Blay said. “We met in the CoLab, we had this little room to start off with and it was amazing.”
ABC hosts meetings once a month, where they discuss the book they have chosen to read. Blay said members can buy the books or find them through free websites.
ABC received a one-time funding of $200, which they use toward meeting expenses.
Although ABC received funding from Alden, some clubs are chapters of a larger organization and receive funding through dues.
“We get all of our money through nationals,” Lydia Gher, CHAARG president, said. “Memberships cost money, but they pay through nationals and then nationals will send us a part of that money.”
CHAARG, which focuses on the well-being of women through fitness and social activities, has been at OU since 2017. However, this year, Gher said over 50% of their members are new to the organization.
“We have a lot of new members, which is exciting because we're rebuilding our chapter after COVID-19,” Gher said. “We used to have over 100 members my freshman year, so it's different with being like a smaller chapter now. The members seem to really enjoy all the events that we do, and I've made some good connections with people and I think a lot of members have made new friends and stuff through charge.”
In order to participate in student organizations, members must complete the anti-hazing training through OU’s website.
“...We do not permit any student to participate in a student organization until they complete the mandatory training,” Taylor Tackett, assistant dean of students and director of community standards, wrote in an email.
Blay said in order to ensure members are completing the anti-hazing training, the executive members have been sending out reminders to their members.
“I know all of the execs have (completed the Anti-Hazing Training),” Blay said. “We put it in our GroupMe, when we send out our mass emails we include that also in there.”
Tackett said The Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility is working to compile a list of students who have completed the hazing training.
"We are currently mid-process with our compliance efforts and are working towards publishing a report with full details about our compliance,” Tackett said in an email. “We anticipate that report will be available early spring semester.”
Blay said she is hoping to implement more diversity and to recruit more members for ABC in the Spring Semester.
“I'm just hoping for more diversity. I'm the only person of color on exec and I feel like most students on campus don't really know that we exist,” Blay said. “I'm really looking forward to starting campaigning … so I can see more ethnicities, races in our organization, so we're diverse or inclusive, and we're reading and exploring different topics that affect different groups of people.”
Students are able to join these organizations through Bobcat Connect.