Student-run group provides support to student organizationsBy Tatumn Vaught | 10/22/2017 9:54pm
Filled with an array of cubicles, offices, and a welcoming lounge area, the third floor of the Ferguson Student Center holds ground to a group of students who work for their peers. Their name is often heard at Bama Bound Orientation and around campus, but not everyone is familiar with the services offered by The Source.
The Source is a helping hand to student clubs and organizations on campus, working to offer support and stability to groups and individuals looking to get involved. Whether a student is already actively involved in organizations or wants to begin their journey, The Source staff wants to help.
“We advocate for effective policies, open dialogue, and genuine engagement on behalf of student organizations,” their website reads. “We build a strong community of student organizations…we connect students to involvement opportunities.”
Housed in the Office of Student Involvement, The Source offers services to close to 600 registered student organizations
“Most people don’t even know what The Source is, yet we have so many resources that we can provide for organizations,” said senior marketing major Caroline Harris. “If [students] need advice on how to get involved, about marketing for their organization, funding, or even event planning, [then they can come to us].”
Harris holds one of the five major positions that work to make The Source successful at the University. As the director of communications, she oversees the social media outlets and marketing strategies involved with The Source.
There is also the director of creative consult who runs the public relations portion of The Source. The director of new organizations and initiatives works with individuals looking to start a club. The director of finance approves and helps with anything related to funding for organizations. Finally, the director of partnership engages students and builds collaboration between organizations.
Becca Murdoch, a senior telecommunications and film major and creative writing minor had a positive experience with the partnership aspect of The Source. During her time at the University, Murdoch has been involved in The Black Warrior Film Festival and Tide Talks, two Source organizations. Last spring, the two groups came together to apply for The Source Collaborative Grant.
They were awarded the grant, which allowed them to pay speaker fees for the festival and combine their respective missions of showcasing student speakers and highlighting student filmmakers.
The Source helped the groups spend the money, and though Murdoch said submitting proposals was hard, she said their funds and guidance were helpful.
"We wouldn't have been able to have our event without The Source and their funding," Murdoch said. "Also the collaborative grant, just the idea of it was really helpful in bringing the two groups together in a unique and interesting way that we might not have done before if the idea hadn't come from the grant being available."
For students who feel like they are behind on getting involved at the University, The Source has “Involvement Geniuses” that sit down with students help them explore their options.
Students can also search for organizations on their own through The Source’s online database of organizations. By creating their own “MySource page,” students can contact clubs that they are interested in and get more information.
One of The Source’s largest and most recognizable ways to involve students is through Get on Board Day. The event, in which organizations set up tables outside of the Ferguson Student Center, allows clubs to vouch for what they are about and recruit members or awareness all at the same time. Since this fall’s Get on Board Day was largely rained out, The Source is working on different marketing strategies to help students still get involved.
“The new organization spotlight is [another] marketing strategy that I’m trying to implement,” Harris said.
By featuring organizations on The Source’s Facebook and Instagram page, Harris works to make the recruiting process easier and show that there are leadership opportunities all around campus. In addition, Harris said they will start using Facebook and Instagram Live for different organizations, such as University of Alabama Dance Marathon’s (UADM) upcoming Week of Miracles, which will benefit both The Source and the organizations.
Samantha Mitchell, a freshman chemical engineering major and member of the communications committee said a newsletter will soon become available as well.
“We’re about to start a newsletter for The Source where we spotlight different organizations to get their names out there,” Mitchell said.
At the University, there are so many options available for students to get involved in something they enjoy, or even try something totally out of their comfort zone. The Source hopes to make that process a little easier.