Victoria Rivera, founder of Las Mujeristas, shares tips for starting your own organization at UD. Photo of the board of directors for Las Mujeristas courtesy of Rivera.
Victoria River | Contributing author
As a freshman, I looked forward to joining many clubs and organizations compatible with my passions.
At the start of each semester, I attended Up the Orgs in which all organizations, fraternities, sororities and clubs have a table. The student body hears about these organizations and joins the ones that interest them.
In my very first Up the Orgs, I was looking for anything related to feminism or anything related to the Latinx community. I didn’t end up finding anything related to feminism, but I signed up for other things that interested me. There is currently more than 270 organizations here on campus, so I thought maybe I hadn’t seen it.
Later in the semester, I ended up attending a PATH event hosted by the Women’s Center, which was part of their educational series. Essentially, it was a Q&A on feminist Latinas. I can say that my participation in this event changed my life, because it inspired me to start my own organization here on campus.
After attending this event, I searched online to find one of the speakers on the UD faculty. When I found her, I immediately wrote to her to see if there was a Q&A-related group on campus that I could join. I explained to her that as a Latina and a feminist, I wanted to be part of a community of women who looked like me. She told me she had been joined by the Women’s Center, but unfortunately there was no group like that on campus right now.
It was then that I decided to take an initiative and start the group and asked her if she could be our advisor.
Paola Ortiz, who is the current advisor to my self-created organization Las Mujeristas, had a huge impact on the whole process and the start of the group would not have happened without her help.
Las Mujeristas is an organization under the Women’s Center and the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEC), and without our directors, Sam Ortiz and Leah Ward, this would not have been possible either.
University of Dayton faculty and staff will help you every step of the way so you can build your own organization. Therefore, if you have a certain passion or dream and there is no club or organization that represents your values, you can start your own.
Although this is a process that takes a lot of time and dedication, once approved it is extremely rewarding to be able to raise awareness and be part of the change on campus.
“Creating a band with my friend Victoria has been, I think, one of the most rewarding things of the last semester,” said Aileen Navarrete, Vice President of Las Mujeristas. “At first I was confused as to how we were going to proceed, but the more information we searched for, the more connections we made. The MEC staff, in particular, walked us through every step of the process and I don’t Couldn’t be more grateful They gave us advice, taught us what it was like to start an organization, responsibilities and so much more.
Navarrete said, “I truly believe we’re making a difference with this new safe space we’ve created for LatinX women and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Sama Ahmed, Founder and President of Womanists Empower, spoke about the process of creating an organization.
“I created Womanists Empower because I noticed that no student organization on campus represented underrepresented women. So I wanted to create a safe space for underrepresented women to be seen. We let’s call Womanists Empower through the Womanism movement that was created by black women who felt unseen through ‘feminism’ and now encompasses all women of color,” Ahmed said.
“Our organization hosts educational events for women of color and underrepresented women such as the LGBTQ+ community. The Women’s Center and the MEC have been a great help and our counselors Sam Ortiz and Leah Ward are the best. I am thrilled that this organization is taking off and doing great things.
Nyah Jonshon, Jr., who is the Treasurer of Womanists Empower, said, “WE has given me the opportunity to be part of the change I’ve wanted to see on campus since my freshman year that shines a light on the importance of underrepresented women. and their life experiences.
There are a few requirements that need to be considered in order to create your own organization:
- Have five or more interested members
- Have a single purpose on campus
- Complement the mission and values of UD
- Have a full-time UD professor or staff advisor.
Visit porches to find specific and detailed information on how to start a new organization.
The Student Engagement Center will decide if your organization is approved. If you meet all the requirements and have a well-drafted and clear constitution, you are good to go.
Additionally, you will earn and receive many benefits as an on-campus organization, such as funding, access to UD facilities, event hosting, publicity support, and more. others.
It takes hard work and time to complete, but it’s extremely rewarding in the end. Here is your sign to make a difference on this campus in relation to what you are passionate about!
See this link for more information and a sample constitution.