“It’s so easy, a caveman can do it.”
While the typical UR student is not a prehistoric caveman, the Students’ Association really does now make it that easy for any UR student to create a new club or organization on campus.
The SA recently made an effort to streamline both the renewal and creation of student organizations. As of this fall, new forms found online have made it easier than ever to fill out and submit the necessary information for a group to become SA recognized.
“I didn’t even know the forms were online now,” senior Kaitlyn Mokay said. “When bLifeUR went through the process earlier in the semester, it was all done on paper. Online forms would have made the process much easier.”
The SA’s Policy & Review Committee is responsible for this process, and provides support and structure for existing organizations, recognizes new organizations and connects organizations to the SA and Wilson Commons Student Activities (WCSA). The committee is comprised of both Senators and committee aides, of which the latter apply and interview with the chair and SA president before receiving Senate approval.
Sophomore Aditi Simlote is the current chair of the committee, and is optimistic about the new system.
“[The renewal] lets the SA and WCSA know that [the clubs] are ready to roll for the year and want access to their resources,” Simlote said. “Students with a new organization idea meet with a WCSA advisor, who helps them develop some plans or find an organization where their idea may already fit.”
After this meeting, the group fills out the New Organization Proposal on the Campus Club Connection (CCC) and then meets with the Policy & Review Committee in order to receive “Preliminary Status.”
With this comes a page on the CCC website, funding for a general interest meeting and the requirement to write a constitution. Six to eight weeks later, the organization goes back to the committee for “Final Recognition,” which, if granted, leaves a Senate vote to make the organization official.
SA President and senior Roshal Patel explained the need for this committee as a way of distributing limited resources for students with the same number of groups as a large school such as a Syracuse University. With over 230 student organizations at UR, the committee has a wide array of groups to oversee.
“The Policy & Review Committee is about using these resources well in compliance with the goals that the University has for student groups,” Patel said.
The Seven SA Principles of Student Organizations were formalized a number of years ago as a guideline to help focus the attention of these organizations on facilitating the improvement of community on the River Campus.
They include having a clear and focused mission, membership, inclusion, uniqueness, PPAC (programming, publications, activities and collaboration), future leadership development and evaluation.
“The student groups wanted some basis on which they could be judged, but these serve as guidelines, not a checklist. They apply in a way relevant to each group — some have tryouts and are exclusive, but they still bring something to campus as a whole,” Simlote said.
Moreover, there are significant benefits to be had from SA recognition.
Not only is there the aforementioned access to funding, but organizations can also hold programs anywhere on campus and receive a permanent advisor. While groups can exist independently of the SA, their operation runs more smoothly and easily with these resources. The Policy & Review Committee works to connect the University and the students’ interests.
With online forms, students can start their involvement and contribution to the campus community from the comfort of Gleason or the confines of their dorm room.
Now, it’s so easy, any UR student can do it.
Brady is a member of
the class of 2015.