As the new semester begins, groups on campus that received full registered student organization status in the fall are enjoying the benefits that come with the promotion.
Drake Men’s Club Volleyball, South Asian Student Association, the Drake Education Association, Asian Student Union, Muslim Student Association and Drake First Generation Bulldogs were all approved to become RSOs by Student Senate.
“There’s different ways and avenues for people to be able to just explore different things, and I’m really excited about that,” said Vice President of Student Organizations Trinity Harris.
RSOs can put up posters, rent spaces to hold meetings, use the Drake logo and name and participate in the activities fair held at the beginning of each semester.
Junior Reed Nenonen is the president of the Drake Education Association. He said he is excited about the possibilities that full RSO status brings.
“It is the little things, like getting our name on the Drake website and being able to plan events with more ease,” he said.
Nenonen explained that the Drake Education Association has existed alongside Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society, for a while. However, he saw the need to make it its own organization so that any first and second-year students interested in education, regardless of major, could have more opportunities for professional development and community support.
“I think this is an opportunity for the members of the organization but also [for] growth in the School of [Education],” Nenonen said.
Last semester, the Drake Education Association brought in guest speakers and offered youth Mental Health First Aid training to members. This semester, the association aims to complete philanthropy projects for local teachers or educational resources in the community.
Nenonen said students interested in joining the Drake Education Association could contact him or other members of the organization’s executive board to learn more about upcoming events.
Harris said she is most excited about the multicultural organizations that are growing their presence on campus. The South Asian, Asian and Muslim student associations can now apply to be part of the Unity Roundtable, the student-led governing body that oversees Drake’s multicultural organizations.
“[Students are] talking to people who [are] like [them], people who have the same experience as [them],” Harris said.
President and co-founder of the Asian Student Union Khushi Makhija said the organization was born out of a need to have a safe space for students from Asia and of Asian descent.
“We didn’t really find an organization that really represented us, so we created that safe space for ourselves,” she said. “Asian Student Union is created on friendship.”
Last semester, Asian Student Union planned bonding events for its members, including movie nights and coloring sessions. With the funding being an RSO brings, the organization hopes to focus on festivals and holidays important to Asian cultures.
“We hope to try and represent as many parts as possible of Asia,” Makhija said.
Vice President Aleeza Ahmar is proud of building a student organization from scratch and sharing it with the university.
“For [Asian Student Union], to be [an] RSO means that there is now officially a space for Asian students to…be who they are authentically in every way,” she said.
Students interested in joining Asian Student Union can reach out to the leaders above or the organization’s Instagram page, or they can visit their table at the student activities fair.
Anyone looking to join these newly-registered student organizations or any other activities can visit the Spring Student Activities Fair on Feb. 1 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Upper Olmsted.