Victoria Rivera, founder of Las Mujeristas, gives advice on starting your own organization at UD. Photo of the executive board for Las Mujeristas courtesy of Rivera.
Victoria Rivera | Contributing Writer
As a freshman, I was looking forward to joining many clubs and organizations that were compatible with my passions.
At the beginning of every semester, I attended Up the Orgs in which all the organizations, fraternities, sororities and clubs have a table. The student body hears what those organizations are about and sign up for the ones that they are interested in.
In my first ever 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 signed up for other things that I was interested in. There are currently more than 270 organizations here on campus, so I just figured that maybe I didn’t see it.
Later on in the semester, I ended up attending a PATH event that was hosted by the Women’s Center, which was a part of their educational series. Essentially, it was a Q&A on feminist Latinas. I can say that attending this event was life changing because it inspired me to create my own organization here on campus.
After attending this event, I looked online to find one of the speakers that is part of the faculty at UD. When I found her, I immediately wrote to her to see if there was a group related to the Q&A on campus that I could join. I explained to her that as a Latina and a feminist, I wanted to be a part of a community of women that were like me. She told me that she was reached by the Women’s Center, but that sadly, there was no group like that on campus currently.
That is when 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 for my self-created organization Las Mujeristas, has had a huge impact on the whole process and starting the group would not have happened without her help.
Las Mujeristas is an organization under the Women’s Center and Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEC), and without our directors, Sam Ortiz and Leah Ward, this would have also not been possible.
The University of Dayton’s faculty and staff will help you through every step of the process in order for you to create 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 create your own.
Even though it is a process that takes a lot of time and dedication, once it is approved, it is extremely rewarding that you can spread awareness and be a part of change on campus.
“Starting a group with my friend, Victoria, I think was one of the most rewarding things of last semester,” said Aileen Navarrete, vice president of Las Mujeristas. “At first, I was confused as to how we would go about doing this but the more information we sought, the more connections we made. The staff of MEC especially, helped guide us every step of the way and I couldn’t be more grateful. They gave us words of advice, taught us what it meant to start an organization, the responsibilities, and so much more.”
Navarrete said, “I truly believe we are 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 no student organizations on campus represented underrepresented women so I wanted to create a safe space for underrepresented women to be seen. We are called Womanists Empower through the movement of Womanism that was created by black women who did not feel seen through ‘Feminism’ and now encompasses all Women of Color,” Ahmed said.
“Our organization holds educational events for women of color and underrepresented women such as part of the LGBTQ+ community. The women’s center and MEC have been of great help and our advisors Sam Ortiz and Leah Ward are the best. I am excited for this organization to take off and do great things.”
Nyah Jonshon, junior, who is the treasurer of Womanists Empower said, “WE has given me the opportunity to be a part of the change I have wanted to see on campus since my freshman year and that is bringing to light the importance of underrepresented women and their life experiences.”
There are a few requirements that need to be taken into consideration in order to create your own organization:
- Have five or more members interested
- Have a unique purpose on campus
- Compliment the UD’s mission and values
- Have a UD full-time faculty or staff adviser.
Visit Porches to find specific and detailed information on how to start a new organization.
The Center of Student Involvement will decide if your organization gets approved. If you meet all the requirements and have a well-written and clear constitution, you are good to go.
Additionally, you will gain and receive many benefits as an organization on campus like funding, access to UD facilities, host events, advertising support and many more.
To finalize, you have to put in the hard work and time, but it is extremely rewarding in the end. Here is your sign to make a change on this campus about what you are passionate about!
View this link for more information and a sample constitution.