As a high school stu­dent in New Jersey, Bianca Smith recalls orga­nizing the art club to paint a mural at a nearby day­care, and the expe­ri­ence spawned a new pas­sion. Now a third-​​year stu­dent at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, Smith wants to con­tinue that com­mu­nity spirit on campus.

I was talking with my room­mates last year, and I kept saying, ‘Just watch. There’s going to be a mural club,’” Smith recalls.

Smith began orga­nizing the club last year, and started a Face­book page that has gen­er­ated increased interest. But the group’s efforts reached a pin­nacle on the Day of Ser­vice and Lead­er­ship coin­ciding with Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in Jan­uary, as the mem­bers came out to paint murals to be deliv­ered to public schools in Boston.

It was really cool to see people excited about what was just a dream to me last year,” Smith said. She is cur­rently working to get her group offi­cially rec­og­nized as a stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion. The club would con­tinue Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to nur­turing pride in the sur­rounding com­mu­nity, she said, and poten­tially spark local youths’ interest in art, should they see a bright mural in the hallway of their ele­men­tary school one day.

More and more stu­dents at North­eastern are demon­strating that same drive. The number of new stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions being cre­ated has increased sig­nif­i­cantly in the last three years, and there are now about 280 groups on campus, said Jason Foster, Northeastern’s director of stu­dent activities.

We really look to make sure stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions, when they are rec­og­nized, have a broad appeal and the ability to be long lasting,” Foster said. “We wel­come all types of orga­ni­za­tions. Our objec­tive is to enhance stu­dent life, and rec­og­nize and accept that all stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions have that same role on campus. The more groups we have that appeal to more people and gen­erate stu­dent involve­ment, the better. That’s our main goal when it comes to starting new stu­dent groups.”

Throughout the aca­d­emic year, Northeastern’s Office of Campus Activ­i­ties hosts numerous work­shops, which stu­dents are required to attend as the first step toward starting new orga­ni­za­tions. There, they learn all the basics and receive tips about get­ting stu­dent groups started.

From there, stu­dents must find a fac­ulty advisor, write an orga­ni­za­tion pro­posal, and submit a list of mem­bers and let­ters of sup­port prior to the offi­cial review process.

Visit the campus activ­i­ties web­site at http://​neu​.orgsync​.com/​h​ome for more information.