OSD adds 27 groups

In addition to the many established student organizations, 27 new student organizations have been officially recognized this year.

One such organization was the Medieval Society at Marquette. The Medieval Society was recognized last fall and began with about seven members, according to senior Dylan Bain, a computer science and history double major and president of the organization. It has now grown to about 18 members who engage in medieval fighting techniques, making armor, needlework, calligraphy and other activities. The members also choose new names and take on different personas as part of the organization.

"I'm proud of how much we have accomplished," Bain said. "I appreciate all the help we've had. It wasn't easy to organize but we bit the bullet and we came out with recognition."

Marquette's Medieval Society is part of an international organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism. The student organization recently held a dinner commemorating their year's activities.

Another new organization is Students for Bush. It was established to support President Bush at the ballot boxes in the latter half of first semester, said freshman Daniel Suhr, freshman and president of Students for Bush. Marquette's organization is the second largest Students for Bush group in Wisconsin with about 230 members. According to Suhr, all six members of the leadership team have had previous experience with campaign work.

"Come fall the campaign is going to kick into super-high gear," Suhr said. "We've just seen an overwhelming response. We really feel that energy and we're going to ride that momentum all the way to victory in November."

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spoke to about 50 people at the kickoff gathering on April 20. Students for Bush also sponsored a campus rally April 15. They met democratic presidential candidate John Kerry when he came to Milwaukee in order to let him know Wisconsin had a large republican population, Suhr said.

A third organization that began this year was Students for Dean under the leadership of sophomore Ryan Alexander. The organization, which supported Howard Dean as a democratic presidential candidate, was approved in early October. Since then the organization has traveled to Iowa three times and established a get-out-the-vote drive the day of the Wisconsin primaries.

"I feel that Students for Dean did an outstanding job," Alexander said. "Part of it was because it was an election year there were a lot of great candidates. It created this dialogue on campus and got students talking about the political process."

At the peak of its activity, Students for Dean had 240 members. Although the organization became less active after Dean dropped out of the race, Alexander said it continues to support Students for Kerry, the College Democrats and two candidates in local elections.

This year, 14 student organizations began first semester and 13 this semester, according to Pamela Larde, coordinator of student organizations and leadership. They included Operation and Supply Team Management, Army ROTC, Writing Club, Sigma Lambda Gamma, the Society of Professional Journalists, a Latina sorority, Sigma and the National Society of Black Engineers. Two groups, one of which was Vox, were denied recognition this year, according to Larde.

Larde said she does not know if the influx in student organizations is more than any other years because she is new to the position.

"I think it's a really good way to develop leadership skills," Larde said. "It's also a good way to prepare for real world because there are roadblocks that students run into that exist in the real world."

However, there are some organizations on campus that have been established for years, like Students for Life, the pro-life student group on campus led by senior Lora Helm.

Students for Life existed for about 20 years, according to Helm. This year, the organization volunteered at the Pregnancy Help Center, co-sponsored a Jan. 22 Mass for Life with Archbishop Dolan and participated in the Run For Life, a fund-raising event for scholarships for single mothers who want to go back to school. In addition to this year's events, the student group regularly participates in marches, protests and education.

"We kind of just worked with what we had," Helm said. "For the past two years there's been a lot of great underclass leadership. This year's group was great and there are a lot of freshmen and sophomore volunteers that did a lot for the organization."

Students who are interested in starting a new organization must fill out a Request to Organize Form at the Office of Student Development in the Alumni Memorial Union. The organization must then go through a long process of review with Larde and Marquette Student Government to be officially recognized. Club sports must go through additional procedures at Recreational Sports to get officially recognized.