Student Organizations Take Spartans to New Heights

October 21, 2015
Members of the MSU Climbing Club watch as senior Nick Empey starts a climb at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

Members of the MSU Climbing Club watch as senior Nick Empey starts a climb at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

With an average of 700 diverse student clubs at Michigan State, it’s difficult to imagine a Spartan not finding one that suits their interests. Oddly enough, that was the case for MSU junior Hunter Gvozdich last year. 

Gvozdich is a mechanical engineering major and rock climbing enthusiast from Brimingham, Michigan. When he first came to MSU, eight of his climbing friends gathered weekly to practice the sport at the Planet Rock Climbing Gyms in Madison Heights and Ann Arbor.

In an effort to unite their band with other climbers on campus, Gvozdich and his friends registered a climbing club using Michigan State’s Registered Student Organization (RSO) process last year.

Registering your club vs. going without university recognition is a no-brainer because of the numerous benefits RSOs receive, according to Fred Watson, the assistant director of student life who oversees RSOs. There were 695 RSOs during the last academic year.

Watson shared that each registered student group is given access to campus facilities, event planning consultation, help in petitioning for up to $4,500 from student government, and access to easy communication and collaboration with other student organizations—not to mention the invaluable opportunity to expose their group to incoming freshman at the Sparticipation event held during Fall Welcome each September.

“Registered organizations give students a really great chance to do things outside of class and to meet new friends and new people that they would not normally be exposed to,” said Watson. “When you leave high school, this is a great way to get involved!”

MSU junior Hunter Gvozdich climbs the Hot September route at Red River Gorge in Kentucky

MSU junior Hunter Gvozdich climbs the Hot September route at Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Gvozdich, who is now vice president of the Climbing Club, cites Sparticipation as critical to the growth of their new organization. 

“We met a lot of students who were really interested and excited about the club. It was cool for us,” Gvozdich said. “Once we had the table at Sparticipation, involvement in our weekly events grew from 10 to 20 kids to 40 to 50 kids.”

In addition to weekly trips to Planet Rock, the Climbing Club occasionally takes trips to climbing locations around the Midwest. From October 9 – 11, more than 15 members participated in the 15th Annual Rocktoberfest climbing event at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky with climbers from across the country.  

Registering for a student organization is simple. All that is required is:

  1. Three or four people who are interested in participating in group activities
  2. A constitution, including a statement of purpose, and 
  3. An advisor who is associated with the university. 

Once they have those three things, students can apply for registration online at www.studentlife.msu.edu by filling out the "Application for Agency Account" and “Authorized Signature” forms.

For more information about student groups, please visit http://studentlife.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/procedures_conducting_campus_activity.pdf or contact Fred Watson at watsonf@msu.edu

And if you’re interested in becoming involved with the MSU Climbing Club, contact Hunter Gvozdich at gvozdich@msu.edu

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