Professors become club advisors and help campus clubs get off the ground

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    By EMILY SMURTHWAITE and KRIS BOYLE

    emily@newsroom.byu.edu

    When two BYU students decided to form a techno music club last September, they knew there was an interest among students.

    After advertising the TechnoHeadz club on campus, they had over 150 students join, said Erik Evans, the club president.

    The only hindrance was finding a professor who would act as advisor for this electronic dance music club. Evans said he enlisted his public relations professor, Rich Long.

    “He really didn’t know much about techno music, but he’s slowly converting. By the time we’re done, he’ll know lots about it,” said Evans, 23, a junior from Palmer, Ala., who is majoring in advertising.

    Long said he was willing to advise the TechnoHeadz.

    “It seemed like a fun group and a worthy cause. They needed an advisor and I was willing to help out,” he said.

    Long, who’s favorite musicians are Neil Diamond and Abba, said he needed some techno music tutoring.

    “I hadn’t heard of techno music, but I was given a little seminar so I could understand it,” Long said.

    Long, who is also the advisor of BYU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, said he is not a music expert, but he loves to listen to it.

    Other club advisors are initially more knowledgeable about the club.

    Karl Batdorff, a production editor for BYU studies, advises the Collectable Card Gaming Club. He said the club holds weekly tournaments for students who are interested in playing collectable card games.

    Batdorff said the club started when the game portion was cut from the annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Symposium. He said there were students who enjoyed playing the games, so he encouraged them to form a club and offered to be the advisor.

    Batdorff said his interest in the games came from his work as a tournament organizer for the company Wizards of the Coast. He was responsible for organizing the tournaments all over Utah.

    Paul Baltes, an assistant professor of English, advises four clubs. He advises the A Cappella Club; the Student Humor Union; Leading Edge; and Life, The Universe and Everything. He also used to advise the Fencing Club.

    Baltes said clubs use their advisors differently.

    “Sometimes advisors are someone who just signs checks or regulates. Some clubs don’t want a lot of faculty involvement, because they are pretty self-sufficient. Some clubs want a lot of help,” he said.

    Baltes said it is exciting to work with student clubs.

    “An important part of clubs is the association with students in a setting which is a learning environment different from a classroom. It’s almost like an internship,” Baltes said.

    Steven Morris, a BYU Development officer, is the advisor of the sailing club. While at Utah State University, he established a sailing club which would come to involve around 180 students. When he came to BYU, Morris said he decided to start the club here, which is in its first year.

    Morris, who is a Red-Cross certified sailing instructor, said the club is open to anyone, not just students. Morris said he has been sailing for twenty years and it has been an interest of his.

    In addition to finding a faculty advisor, students who want to start a club need to fill out BYUSA paperwork which includes membership requirements, club charters, advisor and president commitment and other club information.

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