The students behind TigerThon, Trinity’s dance marathon that supports the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, plan to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO) within the next year.
TigerThon began in May 2017, and the first dance marathon occurred last spring semester on Feb. 24. This fall semester, members of TigerThon have worked to promote and fundraise for their dance marathon that takes place on March 23. Senior Sarosha Hemani, executive director of TigerThon, began the process of turning the event into an RSO this year.
“We signed up as an event under Student Involvement rather than an organization. Currently, because we’re starting to do a lot more things that resemble an RSO, we’re working next semester to actually become one and change our status so we can do a little more,” Hemani said.
Right now, TigerThon operates independently from Student Involvement, managing its own fundraising and events. Shannon Edmond, coordinator for student programs within Student Involvement, described how the group functioned in the past.
“Last year, it operated more as a fundraising body and didn’t really use many resources from Student Involvement. There are a lot of organizations like that on campus that exist, but they aren’t really part of student involvement,” Edmond said.
Hemani described some of the fundraisers TigerThon put on this year to raise awareness about the Children’s Hospital that were RSO-related.
“RSOs have to go through this whole procedure before they can become an RSO. They have to sign a lot of liability forms, eligibility forms, stuff like that, none of which we had done. Since this year, we are trying to do a lot more thing that RSOs would do — we brought in Dr. Mark Fostin to come lecture to pre-med student, we had a “Coffee for Kids” fundraiser, we had a trick-or-treat fundraiser — a lot more things that are more the RSO realm,” Hemani said.
Edmond reached out to Esther Kim, assistant director for Orientation Programs and TigerThon advisor, to explain that TigerThon will need to register as an RSO to utilize Student Involvement resources like meeting spaces and the ability to organize additional programming.
“So the message that I told Esther and Esther relayed to TigerThon was that from this point forward, they still need to operate as a fundraising body as they did last year until they become a [RSO] within our office. With that, they’d have to go through the process like any other organization. That way, it can be fair and consistent across the board. They can have access to the resources that student involvement provides because they’re an RSO,” Edmond said.
Kim hopes that the switch to RSO status will help TigerThon members better fulfill their goals next year.
“I have seen TigerThon grow just in the last year to expand on the education and awareness of their partner, San Antonio Children’s Hospital. I can only see changes happening for the better for TigerThon. As a recognized student organization, they are able to utilize additional resources available to them from Student Involvement, including the Student Activity Fee, T-Space, additional programming — tabling, posters, small events, fundraising — and to collaborate with other organizations to increase their presence on campus,” Kim said.
Hemani echoed this sentiment, hoping the new status will bring more awareness to the Children’s Hospital.
“We hope it brings in a lot more recognition because it’s not just recognizing TigerThon as a club, it’s recognizing what the Children’s Hospital does. In order to do that, we need to table more, bring in more lectures, hold panels, do more fundraising on campus and hold more events on campus,” Hemani said.