Student Clubs and Organizations
The Office of Student Life has a variety of clubs and organizations that you can join. These include the Student Government Association, which is the "voice" of the students on campus and whose members act as representatives of the student body at committee meetings and other activities on- and off-campus.
If you are interested in joining any organization, please contact one of the club advisors for more information or pick up a "Student Club & Interest Group Directory" in the Student Life office. If you do not find a club or organization that suits your interests, please contact the Office of Student Life and make an appointment with the Student Life Counselor and Advisor for Student Club/Organizations & Leadership.
Philosophy of Student Involvement in Clubs and Organizations
Student organizations at NOVA serve as a valuable educational function, offering students the opportunity to join together in governmental, cultural, political and/or special interest issues settings and to assume various leadership roles in carrying out the mission of the group. This opportunity affords students a special experiential component to their lives on campus. In addition, organizations contribute a range of perspectives to the overall College community, thus enriching the academic environment and campus life for all students.
The Office of Student Life has established a recognition process for student organizations. This process serves many purposes. First it offers structure by providing parameters in which organizations can function. It spells out responsibilities for groups, which the college expects them to fulfill. Secondly, it establishes a communication pattern between clubs and organizations and the Office of Student Life to provide support and stability to newly formed groups and their advisors. And finally, it clearly defines consequences for groups, which choose not to exist in accordance with these guidelines.
In establishment of a recognition process, the Office of Student Life fulfills its charge to create an appropriate environment for support and maturation of student groups. The recognition process adds such an environment while maintaining flexibility. This goal has been a primary guiding principle in the creation of this recognition process.
To pick up a copy of the Student Club Starter Kit, simply make an appointment to meet with the Student Life Counselor responsible for Student Club/Organization Leadership. We look forward to discussing your interest in further detail!
Picking the Right Student Club or Organization for You
Student organizations are an excellent way to meet new people and learn more about the campus. In addition, student organizations are a place where you can try out new interests and gain new skills. They also enhance the education you receive in the classroom and can provide you with valuable leadership experience.
The Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College has several student organizations that include recreation, academic, social, religious, cultural and general interest groups. All have a common goal of furthering your education. It may be very difficult for you to decide which organization to join. As you make your choice, you should think carefully about what you hope to gain from the experience and how much time you have to devote to the organization and its activities.
As you adjust your class and work schedule to become more familiar with the NOVA Campus Community, consider the following before joining an organization:
- Talk to other students, advisors, professors and counselors to help you explore your interests and identify activities in which you can become involved.
- Look around at what is available. Don't delay becoming involved in student activities. The personal benefits exceed the time demands of involvement. Participate in several activities before making any major commitments.
- Explore with a friend. Having someone with you will make a new situation more comfortable and fun. Whether you attend an activity alone or with a friend, introduce yourself to the person who is leading the activity and to people around you.
- Be an explorer. If you don't go looking for what you want, you're not likely to find it .
Getting Involved in Student Life
Most programming coordinated by the Office of Student Life and student organizations is funded through student fees. This money comes from you, the student, so if you ever wonder where those mysterious student fees go, the answer is they go right back to you for your benefit and enjoyment.
Why get involved?
It is extremely important to take advantage of the opportunity to become involved. It plays a very important part in broadening your college experience. When you are involved, you not only know what is happening, but also why and how it happened. The experience that you acquire by being an active student on campus will be invaluable to you later in life, both personally and professionally.
What's in it for me as a student?
Many College students are uncertain at some point in their college years about what occupation to pursue after graduation. One of the ways students can help themselves to find out what they really want as a career is to get involved in the various programs and organizations offered by the Office of Student Life.
Remember, it's up to you to make the first move to get involved. Trying out different things, then you have a better chance of finding out what you like and don't like and you have a better idea of what you might choose as a career. Getting involved gives you the practical experience to put on your resume, not to mention the demonstrated leadership ability.
What Is the Difference Between a Club or Organization and an Interest Group?
There is a distinct difference between clubs and interest groups. The College officially recognizes clubs; Interest Groups are groups formed on a temporary basis and are not officially recognized by the college. Further clarification can be found below for the differences between clubs versus interest groups:
- Clubs can generate funds through fundraisers and donations.
- Clubs can have a club account through the Office of Student Life.
- Clubs can use the college name to show its affiliation with the College.
- Clubs can request funding from the Office of Student Life and the college for programs and club activities.
- Clubs can reserve College facilities and utilize College resources for a variety of programming opportunities.
- Clubs are featured in various publications of the college (Student Handbook, website, newspaper, etc.).
- Interest Groups cannot have a club account through the Office of Student Life.
- Interest Groups cannot use the college name to show its affiliation with the College.
For Faculty, Administrators and Staff: Becoming a Club Advisor
If you are faculty, an administrator or staff on campus and would like to get more involved with clubs, organizations or interest groups on campus, please consider becoming an advisor! Throughout the year, students decide they would like to begin new clubs and organizations on campus, but they are not familiar with faculty interested in advising student organizations. If you are interested in becoming a student advisor please contact the Office of Student Life.
The Office of Student Life believes that student involvement in planning campus programs significantly enhances the value of these programs. We hope that this information is helpful to you. For further assistance or clarification on content, we encourage you to contact us at 703.323.3147 or stop by our office in Room 226, on the upper level of the CF Building.
Information may be posted and maintained on Individual sites by NOVA faculty, staff and student organizations("Individual Authors"). NOVA wishes to allow the academic community the greatest possible freedom to use these resources creatively and responsibly. Therefore it does not undertake to screen, verify, edit, monitor or censor information posted by individual authors, whether or not originated by individual authors or third parties and does not accept any responsibility or liability for such information. Individual authors and third parties are solely responsible for the content and organization of information posted by them, even if such information is accessed through the NOVA website. Should any NOVA website user discover something out of date, please feel free to contact the individual author at the email address given at the website. If a user notices something in conflict with NOVA, VCCS, Virginia or Federal policy or law, please contact the College Webmaster and the individual author.