Organization summit offers tips for club improvement


More than 100 students and advisers attended the Student Organization Summit on Sept. 24. People from nearly 30 different South Dakota State University organizations gathered in The Union to bounce from one room to another to learn how to improve their clubs.

Individuals had their choice of nine different sessions packed full of information. These are a few lessons learned from the event:

1. Entertainment contracts processed through the Office of Student Activities help protect students and advisers.

Student organizations are allowed to bring in performers like comedians and musical artists. However, it is very important that all entertainment contracts are processed through the Office of Student Activities- even for volunteer performances. This ensures that students and advisers don’t become liable for the event.

“Never, ever, ever sign a contract,” said Nick Wendell, director of student engagement.

According to Wendell, the state of South Dakota entertainment contracts are a lot stricter than other universities.

Stricter contracts mean that everyone gets a fair deal. Student organizations get what they pay for, and people like comedians or musical artists get what they perform for.

However, stricter contracts don’t necessarily mean harder contracts.

“We do all the heavy lifting for you,” Wendell said, “as long as you get all the information [for the contract].”

2. Appropriate logos can be a little tricky.

With the help of University Marketing and Communications, the name of student organizations can be added to SDSU logos, said Rachel Fritz, a University Marketing and Cmmunications graphic designer.

Student organizations that prefer to design their own logos still need to follow a set of standards. Any marks that utilize trademarked logos or verbiage must go through UMC for approval and be produced by a university-licensed vendor. In fact, the university has the right to confiscate and destroy any items with inappropriate logos at the club’s expense. To ensure that logos are properly used and approved, students can contact the SDSU Trademarks and Licensing Office.

3. Budgeting is important- even if you barely have any money.

This tip applies to personal accounts as well as student organizations’ accounts. What students may not realize is that running the funds for a club requires the same principles as managing their own budgets.

Budgeting is the same as it was in the past and will be the same in the future. It is the same with a $200 Quicken program or a 5-cent notepad from Wal-Mart, said Alan Haarstad, the program adviser for Greek Life.

Haarstad urged students to put their budget on paper because it is easy to mishandle money if they don’t have a guide to follow.

“Budgets should never be in your head,” Haarstad said.

How to hold an effective meeting:

1.     Create an agenda

2.     Stick to the agenda

3.     Send out meeting recaps

“Meetings can be productive if you plan them that way,” said Matilyn Kerr, senior entrepreneurial studies major.

Ways to advertise:

1. Posters

2. An eye-catching table on main street of the student union

“Tri-fold boards are boring! … Go big or go home,” Abby Rogers said.

3. Writing on the white-boards in classrooms