UR BlueCrew, a club focused on building school spirit and promoting participation at sporting events, was granted an extension of their preliminary status at the Students’ Association (SA) Senate meeting on Monday, April 8.
Typically, clubs seeking SA recognition are given preliminary status for six to eight weeks. At the end of that period, the Policy & Review Committee evaluates their work and decides whether they will be granted full status as an SA-recognized student group.
When their preliminary status ended, UR BlueCrew was denied recognition. At the Senate meeting, three members of the group’s e-board appealed the decision and requested to remain on preliminary status until the first Policy & Review Committee meeting of the Fall 2013 semester.
After deliberating for over an hour, Senate ruled 10-2 in favor of extending UR BlueCrew’s preliminary status. Four senators abstained from the vote.
The most-cited reason for denial of the appeal was that offering an extension was inconsistent with past SA decisions.
“Every organization would benefit from having the extra time,” sophomore and Policy & Review Committee Chair Aditi Simlote said. “If we’re not extending that privilege to every other organization, why should we extend it to this group?”
The three UR BlueCrew representatives, freshman Ethan Bidna, who serves on the Policy & Review Committee, sophomore Jessica Sands, president of SA Club Sports Council, and sophomore and senator Vanessa Sanchez, who abstained in the final vote, offered a few arguments in defense of their request.
“There isn’t a ready-made interest group like for chess club,” Sanchez said.
Since they don’t have a specific niche, but are addressing an issue of campus-wide mobilization, the group concluded that they needed extra time to spread their name and mission; unlike a chess club, which has a specific group of people to whom an advertising flyer can appeal. UR BlueCrew members explained that they needed time to recruit members.
Most senators were in favor of the extension.
“They’re targeting the entire campus,” sophomore and senator David Weinberg said. “Because… they’re addressing the entire student body, I’m in favor of giving them another chance.”
UR BlueCrew’s representatives also pointed out that they were effectively on a month-long hiatus during their period of preliminary status because of the break between winter and spring sports. Most senators thought that was a valid consideration.
That said, on one side, the appeals process and preliminary status rules were strongly upheld.
“Appeals are for when there’s something wrong with the system,” junior and senator Henry Macias said. “I don’t think there’s something wrong with the system.”
The counter points focused on the potential benefit to the campus if a longer preliminary status was granted.
“We delegitimize student government when we obstruct the welfare of our constituency in favor of consistency,” senior Arturo Spica said.
Remus is a member of the class of 2016.