There are over 150 recognized student organizations (RSO) at APSU. That includes over 30 Honor Societies, nearly 25 sororities and fraternities and several dozen social, athletic and academic clubs that engage in fun and extracurricular experiences.

This past week leadership from the RSO’s attended trainings led by the Student Organization Council (SOC) and were introduced to all the resources and support their organization has available to them.

With the start of a new academic year, all of the groups are called “to re-apply for recognition,” Laura Goines, the 2019-20 President of the Student Organization Council said. 

Groups achieve official status on campus by identifying their officers and advisors, updating and submitting their rosters and bylaws and getting a variety of pieces of training to acquaint them with how things work around here.

Perhaps one of the biggest infrastructure elements in place on campus to support these organizations is PeayLink, where they can maintain their public face (think web page) and a whole lot more. 

Portrait of the SOC Executive Board
Senior Vice President Kailysia Beckwith, Vice President of Marketing and Communication – Emerson Conner, President Laura Goines and Vice President of Finance -Anthony Cooper – APSU Public Relations

SOC Vice President Kalysia Beckwith demonstrated the room reservation process promote events, reserve facilities across campus, use of Event Pass (the attendance tracker) and connect with service and funding opportunities.

The Council maintains office hours and provides group and one-on-one training on how to apply for funding for organization travel and events. Emerson Conner, Vice President of Marketing and Communications also offered “we will help groups design their logo and launch their social media.”

But that is just the beginning. Coordinator of Student Organizations and Leadership, Kelly Carpenter shared a sample of the resources In the Student Life and Engagement Office.  “There is a copier, lots of colored paper, a printer to make posters and all you need to make buttons.”

She highlighted the closet full of games that organizations can check out for group play. She also explained how organizations can apply to get free tailgating spots at our football games. “Preferential consideration will go to the groups who sign up for the whole season,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter, who additionally oversees the GOVS LEAD training initiatives, said: “I am available to come to any organization and facilitate discussions as far-ranging as leadership, budget-planning and even conflict resolution.” 

With all these resources and privileges, there is also a structure for students to one another and the college. Austin Peay’s recognized organizations are required to uphold certain covenants to make APSU a safe and rewarding place to get an education. 

The President of each student organization is asked to commit themselves, and their membership,  to be “responsible for encouraging an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility and respect for human dignity and for providing a positive influence and constructive development for members and aspiring members.”

The APSU Anti-Hazing Statement goes on in great detail to outline prohibited reckless, hazardous and malicious behaviors that potentially could harm a student. It outlines actions that can cause both physical and psychological harm and explicitly prohibits them. Each club and organization affirms their commitment to abide by these prohibitions.

Within the complex web of recognized student organizations, a great number of resources are distributed to the broader student body. 

Each group is expected to uphold the safety and respect for all people in our community. It is within the gentle but firm structure of the College that these organizations facilitate what for some will be lifelong friendships. 

An example of the logos developed for student organizations by the SOC.

For others, it will be a place where they hone the leadership skills that will serve them throughout their careers. And still, for others, it will be where they discover their passions and their weaknesses. The clubs and societies are vital to a complete college experience. Turns out there is a whole lot behind the scenes that makes them possible here at APSU.