How to create and why to join a student group

By Nick Christian

Staff Reporter

Upset that you can’t play card games or sew at school? Well stop yer moaning! All you need to do is create a student group.

Creating a student group at CNM allows the student to spend more time on campus. Director of Student Activities Brandon Seber cited a study by the association of college unions in which 43 percent of students said being involved in co-curricular activities allowed them to manage the things they had going on in their lives better. The 28 percent of people not involved in co-curricular activities had higher dropout rates and performed worse in school.

Having participated in an extra-curricular activity can benefit a student’s job search according to Donna Fastle, an employment advisor in CNM’s Job Connection Center.

“It conveys their involvement in constructive extra-curricular activities and their willingness to contribute to their academic community,” said Fastle. “If they’ve served as an officer in a group, it can also imply leadership and interpersonal communication skills. So as long as the club has a ‘respectable’ mission, it will a plus to add to a résumé.”

The first step in creating your group is to charter your group according to the Student Activities website.

Chartering a student organization leads to official recognition of the student organization by Central New Mexico Community College according to the student activities website. Chartering allows use of CNM facilities and equipment with the possibility of funding opportunities. An organization can be chartered at any time during the year.

If students charter outside of the fall semester, they will only be eligible for provisional chartering. Provisional chartering grants them all the rights of regular clubs with the exception of fundraising or receiving allocated funds, according to the website.

Chartering is a two-step process.

The first step in chartering your group, according to the student activities website, is to fill out a charter packet. The charter packet can be picked up in the Student Activities Office or found on their website. According to the text under step one, the packet must be handed in by the deadline and will be reviewed by a committee that consists of the Student Activities Coordinator, the Director of Student Life and Discipline, the Dean of Students, one faculty member and one student.

The second step is to attend a training session. The rules read “If the clubs charter packet is approved all clubs must attend a Chartered Student Organization training session.” The workshop is a brief review of the policies and procedures and services available to chartered groups according to the website.

Currently there are 24 clubs or organizations listed on the student activities page. All of the clubs have contact information attached to their online descriptions.

Groups can either be a hobby, or a pathway to meet people in your field of work. The current chartered groups on campus are: Artworks Art Club, American Indian Science & Engineering Society Club, AWS Student Chapter, Campus Christian Bible Study, CNM Green Builders, Digital Arts Team, Executive Council of Students, Foot Bag Club, International Association of Administrative Professionals, Montoya Student Club, Native American Student Club, Phi Theta Kappa – Alpha Upsilon Chi Chapter, Radiologic Technology Club, Respiratory Therapy Club, Shooting Club, Skills USA – AT (Applied Technologies), Skills USA – BIT (Business & Information Technology), Skills USA – HWPS (Health, Wellness & Public Safety), Society of Women Engineers – CNMCC, Student Math League, Student Nurses Association, The Radiant Sphere, and the TRiO Achievement Group.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals goal is, according to their description listed on the CNM website, to provide information, education and training to students to create networking opportunities for students in their profession

Diane Archuleta, the faculty advisor for the International Association of Administrative Professionals, said that the group always has memberships open and currently has 34 members. Membership is primarily for business and information technology students. The next meeting is November 18 inside Smith Brasher Hall.

The TRiO Achievement Group’s mission, according to their listing on the student activities website, is to promote leadership development and mentorship to all fellow members. Community service, workshops and cultural educational events we will volunteer for, organize and sponsor.

Faculty Advisor for the TRiO Achievement Group Willie Smoker said there is membership open in the group, but group members must be a part of the regular TRiO organization. The group recently re-chartered according to Smoker and students can find out meeting times by researching the organization through their personal myCNM.

The mission of the CNM Shooting Club, according to the student activities website, is to provide education and instruction to all CNM students, faculty and staff to give them an opportunity to be educated in firearm safety, legal issues, respect and marksmanship. The club will monitor those members who want to pursue the NRA Competitive Shooting Awards and offer education of a non-firearm nature, dealing with personal security on and off campus to all CNM personnel.

Communication Studies Professor Lisa Orick-Martinez is the faculty advisor for the CNM Shooting Club. The group recently re-chartered according to Orick-Martinez and said students interested in participation should log on to their myCNM, click on the groups tab and then click on the shooting club’s link.

The purpose of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, according to the website, to promote educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaskan Native students in the field of Sciences, Technology, and Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) programs. To promote student success in their chosen career pathway and encourage higher learning as well as assist them in seeking internships, scholarships, and/or employment opportunities

Faculty Advisor Dorothea “Dee” Bluehorse said this is the second year of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the group currently has 17 members. The group is excited for many things but is primarily getting ready for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bluehorse said the continued support of Associate Vice President of Student Services Eugene Padilla, Director of Advisement and Counseling Tammy Strickler and Associate Director Yolanda Pacheco has helped the CNM chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society stay running.

The group currently has new officers due to the graduation of former officers. For the upcoming year Leona Adams will serve as President, Charles Atsye will serve as Vice President, and Jocepha Wellito will serve as the Secretary/Treasurer.

Last year’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society President Jaslynn Begay received a $10 thousand Google scholarship and is currently attending Arizona State University.

Adams, a first term freshman, said she is still learning the role of the President but has goals moving forward. She said she would like to expand the group at CNM and make sure they have an active presence on all campuses. She said voicing the opportunities the organization allows American Indian students is one of her priorities.

The Native American Student Club, as described on the website, provides an opportunity to our CNM students and community to be successful by empowering our students and community to make a positive impact on our communities, culture, education, and being successful.

The Society of Women Engineers is designed to establish a support relationship between women in various engineering fields, according to the student activities website, enhancing each one’s individual aspirations. This society is inclusive to all engineering and technical fields and individuals with its focus on promoting these fields to women

Faculty Advisor Mark Morgan-Tracy said the club is currently on hiatus due to graduation of former members. If anyone is interested in participation, people can contact Mark Morgan-Tracy at via email at


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