At the start of every quarter, Bellevue College’s clubs gather with Associated Student Government members to talk about ways to improve their outreach and event goals. Club Caucus was held on Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in C120, coordinated by ASG Campus Life and Events Representative Dariga Tugan, Student Programs Event Coordinator AJ LaTorre and Student Event Coordinator Michael Cha. To make this caucus unique, the ASG promoted collaboration of ideas and frequent discussion between the clubs throughout the event.
Although the caucus isn’t mandatory for clubs to attend, the ASG added a $50 incentive for attending clubs to put towards posters and marketing. “Oftentimes you can’t get clubs into one room because of classes and conflicting schedules and this is the perfect way to get them all in one room,” said Tugan. As the representative for clubs and programs, Tugan led the caucus and periodically posed questions for attendees to foster discussions with members from other clubs.
“This one was definitely more interactive. Students were actually able to talk to one another and share ideas,” noted LaTorre. “Last quarter, it was just us talking at them, but this time they could talk to one another and get more involved.”
Most of the discussion during the caucus was about how clubs can improve their events and gain more committed members. Because BC is a commuter school, many clubs found it difficult to maintain or grow their numbers throughout the year. “A huge negative for clubs is that the people who are involved manage to stay involved, but getting newer faces or perspectives is kind of hard,” said Cha. “If you’re not friends or affiliated with the club members, then it’s kind of hard to join in.”
“There’s a lot of involvement fall quarter, dies in the winter and picks up again during spring,” observed Tugan. However, she also noticed that many students that do stay after fall quarter tend to remain members throughout the year. “That’s one of the most important things to have – to have support group all year long instead of just one quarter,” said Tugan.
To ameliorate this issue, both Tugan and LaTorre advised clubs to ask ASG and Student Programs for help when holding events and trying to advertise their club. “Sometimes you hold meetings, but to really gain exposure is to plan events,” explained LaTorre, “Planning events that give students exposure to your club and the fun things you can do is what clubs can do to make sure that students are interested.”
“Great things happen when students come together to plan stuff. I encourage students to plan all the big events that they never thought that they could plan,” suggested LaTorre.