Asa Daniels, Campus Carrier staff writer
There is a new committee coming to Berry College, with the goal of clarifying requirements that clubs and organizations must meet in order to be recognized and to get financing by the Student Activities Office (SAO). SAO has taken the responsibility of club funding from the SGA since the 2019 fall semester. While an official name is still in the works, currently the committee is going under the title as the Student Organization Recognition committee.
According to senior Hannah Norman, student involvement coordinator for the SAO, the current system has both clubs and organizations under the same standards. They must meet volunteer and leadership requirements in order to assess how much funding they get. However, this can be an issue for some clubs.
“Not all organizations are created equally; honor societies are obviously much different [from] pre-vet club or ultimate frisbee,” Norman said. “There’s just a lot of different categories that each organization and interest group can fall into.”
These differences between clubs means that groups have different purposes that may not be highlighted through the requirements that all clubs must comply to. However, these requirements are important, since they determine the among of money clubs are given.
“It’s not really good that a club is struggling to meet requirements that don’t really fit their purpose and they’re not getting a food budget or event budget,” Norman said.
Another issue besides funding is that students may be unwilling to fulfill leadership roles in their organizations, due to requirements that may not align with the group’s goals.
“A lot of people on campus enjoy the clubs they are a part of, but they don’t want to take on leadership roles in that club because the requirements can be strenuous on them, especially if they don’t fit [the club’s] purpose,” Norman said.
The creation of the committee is to help resolve these issues and foster an easier environment for clubs to become recognized, authentic groups on campus.
“It’s a way of trying to get people to be more involved in their club,” Norman said. “Not just being a member, but being an active member or being an active leader.”
The committee includes a wide range of individuals, from SAO, SGA, presidents of clubs, faculty advisers and club members. There is also diversity in the array of different types of clubs and areas of campus life. This diversity is to help drive the committee to be the most successful it can be at achieving the interests of the various groups at Berry.
“What we’re trying to do on the committee is trying to make it work for everyone and so we need everyone’s opinion,” Norman said.
The committee is going to replace the previous system of “good standing” versus “bad standing” that was part of SGA’s management of club finances. Instead, there will be a system of recognition requirements. These requirements will vary between groups and put them into different categories based on their goals and available funding.
However, the committee is still in the process of defining the different categories that clubs and organizations can fall into and what the requirements within each will be. They will continue to meet and plan out the new system.
The two heads of the committee, David Lindsey and Cecily Crow, declined to comment.