Freeride Academy largest club on BYU campus

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The logistics of a skiing or snowboarding trip can be daunting for a single person.

Michael Didier said he has been an avid skier his whole life and was greatly impacted by the ski community, but with limited resources during college, getting to the slopes became more difficult.

The Freeride Academy, a BYUSA club, helps students make it to the mountains to ski and snowboard.

Didier, a sophomore from Salt Lake City majoring in information systems, decided to take action. He created the Freeride Academy, a ski/snowboard club which, with over 400 members, has become the largest BYUSA club on campus. Didier wanted a club that enabled students to ski and snowboard which would also make planning trips possible.

“I wanted to make the sport accessible and bring together the ski/snowboard community, so I thought of everything I loved doing, along with everything I thought would be really cool to do, then created an organization to do it,” Didier said in an email.

Making a club is an opportunity that is available to all BYU students through BYUSA Clubs.

According to Jenny Gordon, a junior from Elk Grove, Calif. majoring in public relations and the vice president of the clubs section of BYUSA, the following is a basic outline students can use to go about making their very own club with BYUSA.

If an idea for a club arises, check clubs.byu.edu to make sure there isn’t already an existing club. If not, it is okay to proceed.

The first step is to find an adviser for the club, which needs to be full-time faculty or staff personnel. Then, go to clubs.byu.edu, click start here, and click on “start a club.”

Next, fill out a New Student Organization Form. The form will require the applicant to answer questions such as what the purpose of the club is and how it is going to better the experience of students at BYU.

“We are able to help you at the BYUSA office, Gordon said. “We’ll work with you to help fill out that form.”

The submitted form will go to the BYUSA office where officers will look it over and decide if it goes along with BYU policies. The risk of the club will be assessed then sent back to the BYUSA office where the form will be reviewed again.

Finally, the club will either be approved or returned to makes some changes.

“We want every club to get approved, so we will help you do what you have to do,” Gordon said.

Josh Boaz, a sophomore from Murrieta, Calif. and executive director of clubs, said the decision to make a club is not one to take lightly, as it requires effort.

“I would tell students that if they wanted to start a club, they would look at it as a serious but adventurous project, because starting a club requires a lot of responsibility and diligence and perseverance and all the paperwork and logistics for the club,” Boaz said. “So if someone wanted to start a club, they would have to find something that they are very passionate about.”

Gordon said clubs help students to find a niche at BYU.

“There are over 30,000 students here and we all come from different states, different countries, different backgrounds,” Gordon said, “and so clubs help unite students across campus and help them find friends while they are here that will be friends for the rest of their life.”

Didier said running Freeride Academy has had a huge impact on him.

“It has not only made me believe, but confidently know that seemingly insignificant people, myself included, are capable of big things,” Didier said. “The question isn’t a struggle of capacity, but that of the artificial limitations imposed by an individual’s own mind. In short, we can do anything we dream up.”

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