At Monday’s Students’ Association Senate meeting, a proposal was approved to effectively freeze funding for those groups not registered with the Campus Club Connection and the Student Activities Office by Nov. 26.

“Clubs have had since September to register,” Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier said. “We should know if you’re a club by now.”

Seven clubs have still not registered, including Smash Club and such club sports teams as rugby and alpine skiing. Those clubs which fail to register by the due date will be unable to carry out business or make monetary requests until the one page registration form is completed.

“Freezing their accounts just means they can’t conduct any business and they can’t put in any check requests,” Deputy of the Senate and junior Pete Nabozny said.

The SA felt this decision was the only way the organization could exercise any meaningful influence over the clubs.

“[Funding] is really the only control SA has over the groups,” SA President and senior Chris Calo said. “Clubs are completely autonomous. It’s simply an incentive to get them to participate.”

The new method requires students to fill out a one-sheet form, available at the Student Activities Office, which includes an adviser’s signature and signature of the leader of the club, the initial requirement for all clubs. Registering as a club is an annual requirement as well, and not a new process that has come about as a result of the CCC. The CCC, however, is in place to help with the organization of the system. “The reason they made the CCC is to aid the SAO in keeping records of student groups,” Calo said. “The SAO wants to move to a system where all records are kept in a database. Any groups that don’t register are making their lives more difficult.”

The SAO has now integrated the CCC as the registration process, and Algier noted that the Web forms are secondary.

“Each year clubs have to register,” she said. “Right now they just have to hand in the one sheet. The other part is simply encouraging them to fill out the Web form.”

Clubs were sent a letter stating the reason for registering as well as notifying them of the SA’s intent should they not register in time. Algier felt it was a fair move on the part of the SA.

“The letter that was sent out was a nice one,” she said. “It was to inform the groups first – giving them a time frame to register before they’re frozen.”

The SAO uses the registration as a tool for managing more than simply which clubs exist. “It’s not just used as a way to manage mailing lists – it’s a way for the SAO to keep track of who officers of clubs are and who they can contact,” Nabozny said. “There are so many groups now – it’s a good system for it.”

Algier also emphasized that clubs have a responsibility to register.

“We’re giving them a portion of the student activities fee – the least they can do is come into the office and fill out one piece of paper,” she said. “We don’t think it’s an overwhelming process.”

She also noted unused funding is a problem that may be avoided using the new system via the CCC, allowing the SAO to find out earlier on whether clubs exist or not rather than at budgeting time in the spring when certain funds have been depleted and other funds could have been made available. “With the old system, if the club didn’t register we wouldn’t know about it until April,” Algier said. “With the budget problems, all the supplemental would be used up, and there would be thousands of dollars of funds that would go unused during the year.”

Some feel the action of freezing the funds is not necessary, namely freshman and Susan B. Anthony Senator James Alexander, who was opposed during the vote. “The only step beyond this is derecognition of a club,” he said. “Funding is not a light weapon – it’s something that should be used with a lot of careful thought.”

Some clubs have already acted on the matter, though, including JUR, who were originally on the list and have now registered.

Algier felt overall though this action may appear harsh, stronger future relations between the SA and student clubs will be fostered.

“One of my goals is seeing Senate have much more of a relationship with student groups so when funding time comes around they have priority over where the money goes,” she said.

Linden can be reached at klinden@campustimes.org.



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