Student-led clubs build community and enrich the college experience

Student-led clubs are an important part of a flourishing campus life at Lees-McRae. They build community between like-minded people of similar interests, but also allow students to get to know the world around them and meet people who are different than they are.

However, according to Director of Campus Life Riley Sailor, community-building is only one of the benefits students can gain when they get involved on campus.

“It's important to get involved because it's an opportunity to meet new people, but getting involved in the clubs on campus also helps you develop so many different skills outside of the classroom,” Sailor said. “There's a time management component to it. It's great collaboration because we encourage clubs to host events together and work with each other to put on different activities.”

She said many clubs also provide great networking opportunities for their members by collaborating on projects with offices across campus. Two examples of this are STAT (Students Today Alumni Tomorrow), which works directly with the Office of Advancement, and the Fly-Fishing Club which often meets and goes fly fishing with Lees-McRae President Lee King.

“It’s a great networking opportunity, and then it also just builds confidence. Even if you feel uncomfortable joining a club, it's good to feel uncomfortable because that means you're growing,” Sailor said. “That's something that can scare students away, but we want them to build that confidence to do stuff that makes them uncomfortable that they can grow from.”

Getting involved with clubs on campus is easy. Explore The Den to stay up to date on all the meetings and events going on across campus, and look through the official list of organizations to learn more about, contact, and even join a club that catches your eye.

While Lees-McRae already offers a wide range of student-led clubs and organizations exploring everything from cycling in C.R.A.N.K. Crew, to competitive gaming in Esports, to saving the planet in the Lees-McRae Green Initiative, there’s always room for something new at the table.

All clubs on campus must have a minimum of five members, including a president and vice president, and a faculty or staff advisor. Once a group has met these basic requirements, Sailor said, all they need to do is contact her to schedule a meeting to talk about getting their club off the ground.

“The first thing I always tell students is to make sure it's something you actually want to be a club, and not just something you want to do with your friends on the weekend,” Sailor said. “Running a club is a lot of responsibility. There's mandatory training, and you have to host events, and go to SGA meetings, so I always try to encourage them to make sure it's something they are willing to take to the next level and build something that will be here past the time they graduate.”

Sailor said longevity and commitment are important parts of making a difference with a club, and much of that comes from ensuring a strong foundation at the outset. She encourages students across campus to find a club they’re passionate about and take on leadership roles to get the most out of their campus life experience.

Learn more about clubs and organizations across campus
By Maya JarrellSeptember 09, 2022
Campus Life