Student Organizations on Campus – GradPlan

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Student Organizations on Campus

All the tea on joining clubs and student groups on campus

Find Your People on Campus

Student organizations on campus include everything from the Chess Club, to the Black Student Union, to the Debate Club. Some colleges even have a Chocolate Club! You’re going to have a hard time picking just one, but joining a student organization is a great way to get involved in something fun while making new friends with similar interests.


Student organizations, or “clubs”, are formed and run by students, for students who share a similar interest (dominoes, drawing, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.), or a common identity (LGBTQ, Asian women, LatinX men, etc.) or who like to practice the same skill (dance, archery, etc).


How do student organizations work?

Student organizations usually meet on a regular basis – once-a-week, once-a-month, etc. – and the meetings usually have some kind of structure which can either be pretty loose  – get together, play chess – or more formal, like discussing last meeting’s minutes, calling for new business, etc. Find out the structure of the organization before you sign-up to ensure it’s a good fit.  Below are examples of different types of clubs on campus.

Relaxed, limited structure

 Come in, hang out, tell stories, laugh, play games, etc.

Examples of clubs which usually have a relaxed structure:

  • Chess Club
  • Baking Club
  • Chocolate Club
  • Knitting Club
  • Mexican Food Lovers

Learning-oriented structure

There is a process for each meeting which supports learning.

Examples of clubs with a learning-oriented structure:

  • Gospel Choir
  • Artists Collective
  • The Music Makers
  • Environmental Club
  • American Sign Language Club

Focused, rigid structure

The club has business to attend to and a leadership structure.

Examples of clubs which usually have a focused structure:

  • Student Government
  • Young Lawyers Group
  • Students for Gun Control
  • Muslim Students Association
  • Student Engineering Alliance

Cool, How do I Join?

Student organizations are typically eager for new members. Some colleges can have as many as 300 clubs on campus, so believe us, these clubs want you to join them!

At the beginning of each school year, most colleges hold some kind of Student Clubs fair, where all of the various clubs on campus have a table with information about their organization and information for joining.

You can also generally find information about student organizations on campus by visiting your college’s website and searching for “Clubs”, or “Student Life”.

Joining a Student Organization is a Good Fit for You, If…

  • You’re interested in bonding with like-minded people around a shared interest, talent or hobby.
  • You have time outside of class that you would like to fill with something fun.
  • You’re interested in finding people like you who understand your shared experiences (faith,  race, sexual orientation, etc.)
  • You have a little extra money saved, some student organizations charge a membership fee or dues, so ask when you are considering joining a new group.

One Last Thing to Know

Besides having fun, or discussing things that are interesting to you, joining a student organization is a great way to build a network of friends and contacts on campus. Your network can help you pass your classes, find a job in the summer, or feel supported throughout your time in college.

So if this is for you, then get out there and find the right organization to join!

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist