As Marissa Di Fulco, a sophomore molecular biology major, was browsing through the clubs and organizations page on the Montclair State University website, she noticed that one club in particular was not available for her to join: a photography club.
Ever since she was young, Di Fulco had a love for photography.
“In high school, I took some photography classes,” Di Fulco said. “I loved that, because we got to work with film cameras and develop the film.”
With this in mind, Di Fulco decided to take matters into her own hands and start a photography club so students who share the same passion and love for taking pictures can come together. Luckily for her, the process was simple.
“There were some documents I had to fill out from the webpage from Montclair [State],” Di Fulco said. “I just followed the checklist. I had to attend a couple of meetings, but it was a pretty smooth procedure.”
The process is well organized and sectioned into three parts. On the clubs and organizations section of the Montclair State website, students are able to click on a link to start their own organization. There is a checklist on how to become an organization and then three sets of paperwork that needs to be filled out: a charterment packet, a class III/IV constitution and a presentation for charterment.
Once that is complete, the student(s) must then complete the Student Government Association (SGA) “Life After Charterment” 10 point checklist. This includes creating a unique email for the club, attending an SGA 101 event, filling out forms for Engage, attending financial training as well as utilizing Engage 101.
Once the organization was approved by the SGA, Di Fulco prepared for the start of her new organization.
“We will have friendly photo contests and challenges,” Di Fulco said. “We’ll have guest speakers come in whether they be photographers and discuss their work or just photography in general.”
Di Fulco also wants to hold gallery events where members can showcase their work to the public.
“With that, the public can have the opportunity to purchase the photos that they like, and a portion of the funds raised from the gallery events will either go to a charity on campus or another charity the club decides upon,” Di Fulco said.
Mike Peters, faculty advisor of the club as well as the Montclair State photographer, is very excited about the start of the club.
“I’d like to see students really just think more deeply about making images,” Peters said. “That’s the direction that I’m going to push them in and we’ll be exposing them to the work of a lot of good photographers who…paved the way over the decades.”
The photography club is open to anyone, no matter what their skill level is. Fortunately for the students whose skill levels may be low, this club will help improve their skills and will teach them the tips and tricks to taking better photos whether it be on a digital camera or a cell phone.
“We’re going to start from scratch,” Di Fulco said. “Whether that be how to use a camera, we’re just going to teach it right from the beginning or even like Photoshop, that too.”
For students who are thinking of joining the club, Di Fulco encourages them to join and know that the club will be fun and educational.
“I want everyone to feel like they are really a part of it and that there is a lot of ways they can participate,” Di Fulco said.
Juan Ocampo, a sophomore film major, is beyond excited for the new club to begin in the spring.
“This club is past due,” Ocampo said. “I do not understand what took so long for the creation of this club in a school whose motto is ‘It’s All Here.'”
Ocampo is most excited to meet new creatives looking to learn more about the opportunities a camera has to offer.
“I first started to get into film via photography so I personally have a strong connection towards this field,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo also helped spread the word about this club by sending out flyers through the @networkmsu23 Instagram account, which helped the club gain a lot more members.
The club’s first meeting will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. To join, students can contact Marissa Di Fulco at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as the other board members.
Faculty Advisor – Mike Peters: email@example.com
Vice President – Yousef Dimian: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer – Stephane Arango: email@example.com
Secretary – Heidi Raedisch: firstname.lastname@example.org