Informal Association is unpaid, collaborative work by persons who share a common passion and vision to improve their collective quality of life or that of their communities. Much of the work of informal associations -- which can be more or less organized into structured groups -- is accomplished through the construction of social networks and the building of social capital.
At UChicago, the many, many projects undertaken by CSRSOs (Community Service Recognized Student Organizations) are great examples of informal associations at work. To learn more about CSRSOs, and how the UCSC supports their efforts with funding, advising, and other resources, visit the Student Initiatives section of this website. There you can also find a recent guide to all registered CSRSOs, with contact information for each organization that is updated annually. Finally, for information about starting or supporting your own great CSRSO, contact UCSC's Community Service Advisor Nick Currie.
Outside of the University community, many neighborhoods organize themselves in informal associations to accomplish short or long-term goals. Examples of these include block clubs (popular throughout the South Side), neighborhood watch groups, and groups of concerned citizens that work together to provide accountability to law enforcement efforts (e.g. CAPS groups) or to support efforts like community gardening or neighborhood ecological restoration.