600 Registered Students Organizations to line the Quad

DI Photo Department

By Gina Siemplenski

Today 600 of the almost 1,200 registered student organizations at the University will line the quad trying to recruit new members. Given that there are only 600 8-feet grids distributed to organizations on the quad, each group had to submit a request during the summer for a spot. Quad Day allows for thousands of students to explore organizations available to them all at one time.

Brooks Moore, director of RSOs, said Quad Day serves two main purposes.

“Quad Day gives the students in organizations marketing and leadership opportunities and also gives individuals opportunities to get involved,” said Moore.

With a variety of social, performing, academic and service groups, Moore said there is something out there for everyone.

“Students come to realize that they are not that unique and that many people share the same interests as them,” Moore said. “If you still don’t see something that sparks your interest, then I challenge you to start it.”

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To start an organization, there has to be at least two members – a president and treasurer who will serve as authorized agents for the organization, said Moore.

“The authorized agents will fill out an application online and submit a mission statement, and once the organization is approved, they will go through an RSO orientation,” said Moore.

RSOs can be started at anytime during the year. Some recent additions include The Perfect Prom Project, Camp Kesem and the Society for Competitive Fighting Video Games.

Autumn Griffin, a graduate student at the University and President of The Perfect Prom Project, said her main goal is, “to reach out to the Champaign-Urbana community by providing prom dresses and accessories for high school girls that may not be able to otherwise afford them.”

Griffin said her inspiration for starting the organization came from her high school years.

“I benefited from a similar organization when I was in high school in Chicago and I also participated in a similar project as a volunteer for the Chicago based organization,” Griffin said. “Both of those experiences inspired me to start this organization as a way of providing that same magic to this community.”

Starting an RSO requires much dedication and clear goals.

For example, Camp Kesem is an organization that is trying to serve the children in the City of Champaign who have parents with cancer. Camp Kesem co-president Jill Pessis said Camp Kesem is planning to give children the opportunity to spend a week at an overnight camp next summer so that they can forget about the struggles that come with having a sick parent.

“We have to fundraise over $20,000 in order to rent a camp site and all of the other things that come with it,” said Pessis, a senior in ALS. “We also need to plan all of the activities for the camp, find transportation and most importantly campers.”

Many organizations specifically focus on certain recreational hobbies.

“I’m looking for people who play video games competitively, statistically and strategically,” said Jerry Cheng, a junior in engineering and president of the Society for Competitive Fighting Video Games.

The Society for Competitive Fighting Video Games sets up a forum for players to compete.

Setting an RSO apart from the other 1,200 there is always a challenge.

“Advertising online to major national forum circles is a way to recruit new members,” said Cheng.

While every organization is trying to recruit new students, Cheng said, “it’s most important that you find a community you appeal to.”

“If you still did not find an organization that suits your interest (after you’ve gone to Quad Day), the RSO office would be more than happy to help you find something that caters to your interests,” said Moore.