Student Groups’ Development:
The following section is dedicated to the establishment and development of new or reactivated student groups. The material was developed to provide the founding members of a student group with helpful hints and guidance, and to share information with students from other Saudi universities who are looking to develop or reactivate an SYS Student Group.
The founding of a SYS Student Group is a unique experience. As founding members of any group, you are the individuals who are setting the framework for the future. All your effort will carry on to the next group of students as long as you establish your group with some long-range, broad-based goals in mind and think about the coming years. Several SYS Student Groups established their group with the intent to hold an event or project that is unique unto itself and will continue to develop and evolve year to year. After reviewing this section, please fill this form to convey your intent to establish a student group. The executive members of SYS are always keen to support you.
1. Step One: Searching for Success
A strong core group of students interested in forming a campus club is important in initiating a new SYS Student Group. Be sure to include all interested students, the staff from the Affairs Department, your Faculty Liaison, and the SYS public relations officers assigned to your region on all communications from the start.
- Founding Members’ Recruitment
Inform individuals about the contributions that an SYS Student Group can make to your university and community. You will need at least five students who agree to be charter members of the group ( President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Outreach officer). Invite them with in mind the membership benefits mentioned above. You may use KAUST Students for Sustainability as an example.
- SYS Faculty Liaison (Group Advisor)
The SYS Faculty Liaison, some groups name this role the Group Advisor, is a faculty or staff member at your university. It is imperative that you work closely with the faculty liaison to make sure that your proposed new student group meets all the requirements for the university. This person is ideally someone who is a strong advocate of sustainability.
- Campus Recognition
SYS Student Groups must be aware of the policies that exist on campus concerning the establishment of a student group. On most college or university campuses, student groups must establish formal recognition on campus in order to host events, reserve campus meeting rooms, and apply for student funding through the university. Check with your SYS Faculty Liaison or Dean of Student Affairs to determine the steps a new student group must follow to gain recognition on your campus. You must be recognized on campus to be considered an active SYS Student Group. If your School or College runs individual groups through an umbrella organization and individual recognition is not possible, please contact us.
2. Step Two: The Official Group Induction and Ceremony
The SYS Student Group induction ceremony helps establish and publicize a newly formed SYS Student Group. The group president should apply for the group charter by submitting a copy of the constitution and by-laws approved by the charter members of the group, the group affiliation agreement and roster of the charter members. There must be at least 5 charter members who are currently students. The ceremony officially announces the formation of a new student group and allows for a program to be developed. A formal chartering ceremony is not mandatory but will help establish a firm foundation on which the group can build and attract the participation of university officials, leadership and students. A student group can use this program to help encourage student membership, bring a lot of attention to the new group, and help establish the group as a viable group on campus. The founding members and officers should be officially inducted during the chartering ceremony. In many instances, the group advisor or a university leader reads the induction ceremony script. The student members involved in developing the program can determine who officially inducts the SYS Student Group. See the model constitution for the officer induction ceremony.
3. Step Three: Group Management
The last step in group development is to manage and expand upon what you’ve built. See the group management section of the Student Group Operations Manual for more information. As with ongoing sustainability projects, documentation is critical to inform future group officers of what was done and how it was completed. This can be as simple as keeping a copy of the group activity reports in a binder or as a word document on the cloud. Although starting a Student group is a crucial step in promoting sustainable community, managing the group correctly will ensure the longevity of your efforts. Stay organized and try not to be discouraged if your efforts do not go as planned the first time around.
4. A Few Last Words of Advice
Maintaining clear and frequent communication with the student affairs department at your home university, Student Group Members, SYS Faculty Liaison, SYS Leadership, will greatly enhance the success of your Student Group. This will include regular group meetings, officer meetings between group meetings, flyers to announce meetings at least several days in advance, and a willingness to talk to others as well as listen. Remember, starting an SYS Student Group provides an invaluable rich experience. You will not lose if you are willing to take action and be persistent. There are not many students who have the opportunity to become a founding charter member of a group that will continue to grow on your campus. Now, go make it happen!