A society fair on Feb. 28 in the Manwaring Center Special Events room gave students the opportunity to see the types of societies on campus.
According to www.byui.edu/societies, societies are provided in an effort to extend the learning experience, improve opportunities, provide leadership opportunities and create bonds of friendship among students with similar interests.
There are 89 academic societies available at BYU-Idaho according to the Societies Available on Campus list, which were distributed at the fair.
Karen Kunz, an academic administration office assistant who greeted students at the fair, said new societies are being formed and almost every major has a society to represent it.
“Societies can go inactive due to lack of interest but can become active again with appropriate leadership in place,” Kunz said.
Kunz said this lack of leadership might include a faculty advisor going on sabbatical or simply not enough interest from students in the society at the time.
According to www.byui.edu/societies, in order for a society to be formed, it must have an academic purpose and its own bylaws. Bylaws are defined as membership, meetings, officers and an official name. Next, interested students must find an active faculty advisor. Finally, the society must be approved through both the department it falls under and the Dean’s council.
According to the Privileges of a Recognized Student Society page found at www.byui.edu, societies have the right to use university faculties and services, schedule and publicize meetings and have members pay dues and go on trips.
Every society has its own goal. Matthew Brownell, a junior studying physics, said the goal of the Astronomical Societies is to just enjoy space. Members of the Photographics’ Society, on the other hand, host weekly photo competitions and build resumes.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), a national society with a chapter on campus, is an example of a recently revamped society.
Liz Smith, a senior studying elementary education, is a member of NSTA. The society is having its first activity since jump starting the program on March 5.
“It’s going to change the way I teach because I have all the resources from NSTA,” Smith said.
Other associations are also chapters of national associations. Pi Sigma Alpha is a society based on a larger association, and students who join in school will be members for life.
Brooke Taylor, a senior majoring in political science, said Pi Sigma Alpha’s goal is more involvement from everyone both within and without political science majors.