Student Clubs & Orgs: Where to Begin?

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Why join a club at UC Berkeley?

With over 1,400 student-registered organizations on campus, your next community is right around the corner. Learning a new skill, meeting like-minded people, and discovering passions are only a few of the perks of joining a club. Establishing these connections through activities that you have in common will enrich your college experience.

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Cal Cube Club. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

When I transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, getting involved was at the forefront of my mind. I dived into research that made me excited to attend before I even set foot on campus. The clubs that I joined have shaped my experience here at Cal. Read on for how they can shape your journey too. 

Where can I find student clubs?

A convenient way to begin your research is the organization search engine, CalLink. You can filter your search based on your interests through general categories. The Berkeley Student Leadership and Engagement Website covers Greek life, clubs, organizations, leadership programs, and student government. 

Another way to get more of an in-person feel for the clubs is to attend Calapalooza, a fair that occurs every beginning of the semester on Upper Sproul, Lower Sproul, and Pauley Ballroom. You can ask current members questions you may have or simply learn more about their organization. Here are a few of the clubs that table on Sproul during that time.

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Calapalooza. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

How can I join student clubs?

Each club has a different process and set of rules for joining. Common steps include filling out interest forms, attending info sessions, completing applications, and interviewing. The competitiveness ranges from club to club as some have loose requirements for joining while others will have higher expectations and qualifications.

When finding a club through CalLink, there is a section called Additional Information that usually contains contact information and links to more details about the club and how to get involved. Ask current club members who are tabling during Calapalooza to give you clarity on their recruitment process and an idea about what to expect if you join. Reaching out to friends or mutuals who are involved is never a bad idea either. For more information on joining clubs, consult Campus Clubs: Finding & Applying.

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Association of Women in EE&CS tabling on Sproul during Calapalooza. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

What happens after I apply to a club?

After applying and undergoing any follow-up actions, your application will be reviewed. The wait time can vary by organization, so it’s helpful to ask a club member what to expect. While you’re waiting, many clubs offer info sessions and Q&A’s with current members.

Once I found the clubs I was interested in, attending info sessions and going through the applications were seamless. I was able to join multiple publications, including B-Side and Her Campus, that have enriched my time here and allowed me to gain important experience for developing the skills I need for my aspiring career field. Plus, I’ve been able to meet wonderful people along the way. Joining a club or organization will be key to your undergraduate experience, and following this guide will allow you to find your next community at Cal.

 

Preslee Vanlandingham is a fourth year at UC Berkeley majoring in English and Creative Writing. This post was originally published on August 12, 2021, and updated on April 15, 2024. Cover photos provided by Student Affairs Communications, Public Affairs, and Tamara Pantic.

 

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