Round table encourages clubs to work together

With over 160 clubs at Sonoma State University, each one is bound to offer something different to students. 

Academic clubs, sports clubs, fraternities and sororities and other niche organizations all have their own ways of conducting themselves. 

All these clubs were accounted for on Sept. 27, when the Student Involvement office held a round table event to hear the clubs’ needs so they could determine how to best serve them.

“We’re here to listen to any concerns, and any changes or improvements we can make to help them,” Analesia Campos, a student assistant for the Student Involvement office, said. “Each club is different so there’s no general goal.”

A central topic at the round table was money – how clubs should get it and use it. 

Sonoma State doesn’t currently provide funds for its clubs, so they must rely on fundraising and membership dues. 

“We do a lot of fundraising in both snow and bio clubs,” Keenann Raleigh, a fourth-year biology major, said. “For bio club, we sell succulents in recycled cans and those are a big hit.” 

Another way clubs can get funds is by applying for grants. Officers of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club expressed frustration at the grant process because it requires clubs to know how much money they are going to need beforehand. 

Campos said that the Student Involvement office is thinking of setting up an emergency fund for when clubs run out of money.

For $65 per semester, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club exposes students to the sport without requiring them to pay for a gym membership. 

At meetings held three times per week, the club promotes self-defense and teaches people how to prevent sexual assault. 

The club’s members plan on going to San Francisco to compete in an upcoming national tournament. 

Emily Sussman, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club treasurer, said the organization has been a hit on campus and currently has around 50 members.

“We just want to get our feet wet and get our members competing,” Sussman said. 

Keenan Raleigh, who serves as both the vice president of the Biology Club and the safety officer of the Snow Club, provided a dual perspective at the round table. 

Raleigh said the Biology Club is one of many academic clubs on campus where the goal is formembers to learn and succeed in their classes. 

“[Biology] and Snow Club are two very different clubs,” Raleigh said. “Snow Club functions much more smoothly than [Biology] Club, which is something I wouldn’t have expected,” he said.

Another topic discussed at the round table was how all the clubs can help each other. 

Raleigh expressed a desire for more mixers like Greek Life has but said he wasn’t sure how to set them up. 

“It’s really hard to plan mixers,” Campos said. “It might seem like Greek Life does more, but it’s still hard.” 

There are already instances of clubs fundraising together and working side by side. 

For Sexual Assault Awareness month in April, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club partners with the cast and crew of “The Vagina Monologues” to teach self-defense.

The Student Involvement office is also going to do something this month called “Orgtober,” where all clubs come together to participate in competitive events, with the chance to win cash prizes. 

“It gives recognition to all of the amazing things our clubs do,” Campos said.

For more information, contact Student Involvement at (707) 664-4323.