At the Senate meeting on March 29, a motion was passed for the Students’ Association to de-recognize the Pagan Students’ Community (PSC) due to a failure to meet deadlines imposed by the Policy and Review Committee. Since that meeting, miscommunication between the two parties has led to strong discontent among current and former members of the PSC.

The PSC first found itself in dangerous territory when they failed to turn in their mandatory club renewal form in September. The Policy and Review Committee then presented the PSC with several steps to ensure their future success, some of which were never completed by the group.

Specifically, the PSC failed to update their Campus Club Connection page and to hold a general interest meeting. According to Powell, however, logistical obstacles prevented the completion of these tasks. Powell claims that the PSC’s CCC Web site was offline until about a week and a half before the deadline presented to him, and that he was unable to reserve a room in Wilson Commons in which to hold a general interest meeting.

Powell was allowed to attend the Senate meeting to defend his organization. Still, these mounting issues, combined with concerns over the organization’s future leadership and dwindling membership, led the SA to de-recognize the group.

Speaker of the Senate and senior Kierstin Hughes emphasized that there was a strong sentiment within the Senate that de-recognition would present the PSC with an opportunity to reorganize and thrive in future years.

Still, Powell feels that the SA’s actions will ultimately be detrimental.

‘I think it was the worst thing they could have done for the club,” he said. ‘Now, because this came so late in the year, there’s no way to get any work done for future leaders of the club, who have to start from scratch.”

In response to the SA’s decision, several PSC alumni expressed strong discontent in letters to SA President Eric Weissmann, who was not directly involved in the group’s de-recognition.

‘I received several letters from alumni regarding the Senate’s decision, and for the most part they were completely productive and appropriate,” Weissmann said.

According to Powell, the next step is for the PSC to seek to become recognized again, allowing them to regain access to resources provided by the SA. In the interim, the PSC has the support of Interfaith Chapel, which will allow them to participate in some of their activities.

‘Ultimately I think it was a blow to religious diversity,” Powell said. ‘They let a matter of policy stop a religious group from flourishing on campus.”

Fleming is a member of the class of 2013.

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