Recently, we talked about where the best places on campus to find clubs and activities were. Today, we’re going to dive into the most frequently asked questions high school students, like you, ask us about clubs.
What’s the difference between clubs, club sports and intramural sports?
Clubs: In general, these are created and funded through the efforts of the Student Activities & Leadership Office (and Student Government), the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the academic colleges. Some examples are: UML Smash (the Super Smash Bros. club), Leaders in Action, Off Broadway Players, the Pride Alliance, Disable the Label, Biology Club and more.
Club sports: These are created and funded by the efforts of everyone in Campus Recreation. Club sports are more competitive than intramural sports and they involve tryouts, practices and off-campus travel. Some examples are: Basketball, field hockey, soccer, softball and more.
Intramural sports: Also put on through Campus Recreation, but compared to club sports, intramural sports are much less competitive. Intramural sports teams play other UML student teams on campus and there are no practices. Some examples are: Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and more.
Clubs and Activities FAQ
What is Engage?
Engage is how we keep track of and keep students up-to-date about the active clubs and events happening on campus. Students can find profiles and contact info for every active club on campus. It also offers valuable information like club handbooks, apparel forms, event request forms and more.
Where can I find a list of active clubs?
You can find them on Engage.
Every fall, the Student Activities & Leadership Office requires that club officials re-register their club. That way, you know that if you see a club listed on Engage, its members are still actively running it.
How can I join a club?
There are a few ways. It mostly starts with you using Engage.
- Find a club you are interested in and contact the club officials and/or faculty using the contact info they provided.
- Explore the “Events” and “Latest News” tabs on Engage to find cool events clubs are hosting and stop by. For example, I just checked the Latest News section and saw that French Club is having a Pumpkin Paint Night. If I was a student, I could stop by paint a pumpkin, learn about French artists and join the club.
- If you’re an in-person-type-of-person, you can learn more about clubs and join them by visiting the Engagement Fair (see more on this below).
What is the Engagement Fair?
Every Opening Week in the fall, all the clubs on campus set up tables to encourage students to join their club. It takes place right after Convocation for new students. It’s a big deal and a ton of fun. It’s a massive fair, welcoming party and BBQ for students. They walk from table to table and get information about clubs and activities offered around campus.
I’m a transfer student and I missed the Engagement Fair in the fall. How can I learn more about clubs?
No worries! Student Government and the Student Activities & Leadership Office has your back. Throughout the year, they put on events and have tables set up in high-traffic areas to promote clubs and activities. Last year, at their table they had a donut wall and coffee. It’s all very casual and welcoming, and they helped connect a lot of students to new clubs and activities.
I don’t see a club that I think should be offered at UML. How do I start a club?
Starting a club is a really simple process. All you need to do is get 10 signatures in support of your club (people who would be interested in participating) and a faculty/staff support person. Then, Student Government will begin the approval process (they usually approve most requests as long as a similar club does not already exist). Finally, you’ll have to write a type of constitution/mission statement for your club that serves as guidelines for the club’s purpose.
What are the schedules like for clubs?
It depends on the nature of the club and the people in it. Student Activities & Leadership recommends that clubs meet at least twice a month, but again, it all depends.
Is there a tryout process for clubs/Are they selective in their membership?
Most clubs can’t be competitive or selective in who is allowed to join. However, there are very special circumstances where there is a selection or tryout process. Those clubs are usually supported by Student Activities & Leadership, but they are not funded by them. Examples include: Greek Life, specialty clubs like Hawkapella (UML’s a cappella groups) and a few more.
Club Sports FAQ
Do club sports have professional coaches?
Some have paid coaches, but not all—some club sports rely on volunteers to coach.
What are the schedules like for club sports? How often do they meet?
It depends on the team. Most teams play on weekends against other universities, and they are most active in the fall and spring.
Non-competitive, recreational and instructional clubs attend off-campus events as they happen. These types of club sports have regularly scheduled practices and meet up times.
Is there a tryout process for club sports?
Again, it depends on the team. The more-competitive and developed teams have tryouts and cuts. However, many of our teams are open to members of all skill levels and carry multiple “teams” within their team that compete.
A large portion of our club sports are “no experience required.”
What club sports are active?
Phew. That was a lot of information. I hope this answered your questions and helps you understand how clubs work at UML. As always, reach out to us if you have a question that I missed—we’re always here to help.