The Undergraduate Council will be more involved in the process for recognizing new student organizations, according to a draft policy unveiled at a Committee on Student Life meeting Thursday.
Under the proposed revisions, the UC will be tasked with recommending clubs for approval to the Committee on Student Life, a student-faculty committee that includes UC representatives, House Faculty Deans, and administrators from the Office of Student Life.
Following unanimous support from CSL members, the UC will vote to approve the policy at its next general meeting on Sunday. While the CSL will continue to have the ultimate power to approve new student groups, the UC will have a significantly expanded role in the process should they adopt the proposal.
The UC’s recommendations for recognition will incorporate feedback in a multi-step process. College staff from offices including the Women’s Center, Phillips Brooks House Association, and the Office for the Arts will meet with prospective club leaders to advise them on resources and potential “risks.” Afterwards, a UC committee will interview prospective club leaders before the full UC votes on recommendations for the CSL.
This past semester, the Office of Student Life chose to not accept new applications for student organizations after the CSL suggested a halt to new submissions. The committee sought to revise the process for approval to limit the number of “superfluous” groups due to the limited nature of financial and physical campus resources.
In an effort to curb the rapid proliferation of campus clubs, the draft policy also creates a new one-year “provisional” status for all prospective clubs who seek formal recognition from the College. Subsequent review by the Undergraduate Council will be required before granting student organizations full recognition. Recognition from the College allows student groups to access privileges such as the ability to reserve campus spaces and eligibility for UC grant money.
UC President Yasmin Z. Sachee ’18, who co-chairs the CSL, said that the UC’s potential role in determining which prospective student groups are recognized aligns with their current responsibilities of allocating grant funds to clubs.
“We really want more student involvement,” Sachee said. “That’s what it’s really about—giving students more voice in what they do on this campus and how they spend their time.”
Rebecca J. Ramos ’17, a CSL member and former Cabot House Committee co-chair, believes that the new policy will mostly help new organizations.
“I think this proposal will do a lot in terms of setting organizations up for success,” Ramos said. “I’ve been involved in many clubs and I think that this proposal will help new organizations really get their footing before launching some of their bigger projects.”
—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.—Staff writer Kenton K. Shimozaki can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @KentonShimozaki
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