Salt Lake Community College’s Thayne Center hosts a clubs and organizations conference for over 50 groups on campus twice a year, and yet, the event isn’t widely known among students and faculty.
The most recent conference, held Feb. 3, brought club advisors and student leaders together for training on how to maintain their club status, requirements and funding, according to Gabe Byars, associate professor and advisor for the Student Occupational Therapy Association.
“[The] club conference gives you the tools to transition into being a leader within those clubs, and within that community,” Byars said.
Student clubs and organizations fall under the Thayne Center, which reorganized in 2020 to include community engagement and student life and leadership programs. Because SLCC caters to students who don’t live on campus, Byars said the conference provides an opportunity to get the “college experience” and bond with classmates who have shared interests.
“I’ve seen the impact clubs make here on campus,” Byars said. “We’ve all seen the impact of the clubs, and to be part of that, it’s really powerful.”
The most recent conference spanned two sessions with options for attending in person or via Zoom, said Anita Lui, coordinator for the student clubs and organizations program.
“I really wanted to try and make this as accessible as possible, but still maintain the integrity of being able to offer the training and information that clubs need to maintain their tier status,” she said.
Trainings included learning how to use CampusGroups, the college’s club engagement platform, which allows leaders to request funding and other information – necessary for event planning.
“It’s always a really great opportunity to connect with other advisors, students and leaders across campus, and that informal network and chatting,” Byars said. “It opens up a lot of new possibilities and ideas.”
While the conference is targeted toward those already involved with clubs, Lui said all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.
“It’s open to everybody,” she said. “It’s about student success and helping students find a place of their own.”