In conversation with Music Club President Jadin Hawkins, here’s the rundown of what students can expect if they want to start an RSO.
For students interested in starting a registered Student Organization (RSO), you may be unsure of where to start. Currently there are over 60 RSOs at UWT ranging from Music Club, Volleyball Club to Black Student Union. Students considering joining an RSO can view the registered organizations through the Student Center of Involvement (CSI) website, the new DUBNET platform, or view any of the club posters located on poster boards at UWT. For students who major in studies like Music or Film, taking classes in these areas may not be enough.
Jadin Hawkins is a senior and currently the president of the Music Club at UWT. He first started the club when he was working at the Student Activities Board (SAB) more than one year ago.
“I really enjoyed working there and the people who work to come up with student activities,” said Hawkins. “It was a fun job that taught me a lot and helped develop my communication skills.”
Hawkins worked as a music and events coordinator there where he developed events and music performances for. Several times a year the SAB would host a music event at local community venue ALMA. Hawkins would DJ here and host open mic nights during their events. Shortly after the last event they hosted, the ALMA arts center shut down after lack of funding. Although Hawkins can’t host events there anymore, he says that he is happy to have gotten the opportunity to DJ and help others meet each other through music.
“For me, all I want is to do is create music and build a strong community of people who are passionate about the same thing,” said Hawkins. “If someone says that they needed resources or someone who can help them get into music I will always do it. That’s just the kind of person I am.”
After working some time at the SAB, he wanted to try something different. He decided to focus on his major more and build a community of music enthusiasts.
“I love the work I did at SAB but always wanted to do more with connection building through music,” said Hawkins. “This is something I always felt was missing at UWT. There isn’t a music program or place where music artists can connect. At other universities, they will have some people play instruments on campus during lunch hour or even hold musical events at the school.”
Hawkins created the Music Club and encouraged other music enthusiasts to join.
“It was difficult because there is not straight forward path to starting an RSO,” said Hawkins.
For students who want to start an RSO, they must have at least four other students who are interested in becoming officers of the club, according to the CSI webpage. These officers would be responsible for creating a constitution that promotes positive values and aligns with UWT policies. Any rules that break or divert from this policy might be rejected.
In addition to creating a constitution, at least two officers must attend an RSO orientation meeting where they will be asked to learn the policies and rules set forth by the CSI. These orientations ask you to follow UWT policies and work with members of your group to attend any required RSO events in the future.
“It takes a lot of work to run and start a club,” said Hawkins. “Not many people think about all of the other things that go into creating an organization because they’re just focused on the fun part of it. When we first started, we had a solid group of people who came to each meeting. We’ve been able to put on a few events on campus that people showed to. What’s hard is keeping that same enthusiasm for other aspects of the club like event planning and club coordinating.”
For RSOs, you are allotted a certain amount of funds per school year for your entire club. According to the CSI, RSOs receive $250 for club funding and an extra $200 in case that money runs out. However, putting on events such as Winter Trivia Night, which the Music Club was a part of, surpassed the $250 they had.
“The funding isn’t nearly enough for all the activities that the CSI expect RSOs to do,” said Hawkins. “It costs a lot of money to put on these events and pay the food caterers, prizes, beverages and decorations. Even if we had twice the amount, I don’t think it would be able to cover half the cost of an event like ours was.”
To cut costs and split funding, the music club collaborated with the UWT Film Club, Soccer Club and ASUWT. They were able to supply pizza and beverages and several prize items for students.
“It was a successful event and proved that working together really benefits everyone including your club,” said Hawkins. “If I were to give any advice to people looking to start and RSO or put on an event on campus, I would say collaborate with others as much as you can. This helped us tremendously and worked to expose our club to other students who might want to join our club.”
Hawkins will graduate next quarter and is hoping that another club member of his will step up and take his place as President. Many RSOs end up dying because one or several members graduate or decide that they don’t want to be involved anymore. To keep this from happening, the CSI encourages any senior RSO officers to communicate thoroughly with the entire club, to decide whether they want to pass the club down onto someone else after they graduate or want to step down.
While Hawkins is unsure of what the officers will do after he graduates, he is happy to have had the opportunity to connect with them in the first place.
“For students, I think that we often focus way too much on our GPA or assignments that we have to complete,” said Hawkins. “We all want to graduate and do well, but I think people forget that doing homework and class assignments are just one part of it. You can’t learn everything through writing papers.
“A part of growing as a person and learning is making connections with people you meet. If I hadn’t of made that club, I would never know what it’s like to start an RSO and put on cool events like Trivia Night.”
Hawkins continues to attend music events where he can host as a DJ. He creates music in his own time and still works to put on events and club meetings with the Music Club.
If you are interested in starting an RSO, you can go to the CSI resource page at https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/involvement/resources.
Here you can view all the required things needed to start an RSO.