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New report will gauge club participation

By Abigail Gardener and Elianna Spitzer

Section: News

December 2, 2016

Club leaders will be required to report information about their events, attendance, inventory and allocated funds spent each semester to the Club Support Committee of the Student Union, according to members of the committee.

The committee has been working on a Club Support Report all semester, and plans to release it within the next two weeks. The goal of the report is to “provide support for clubs on campus,” according to Ryan Tracy, Class of 2017 senator and chair of the Club Support Committee.

Brandeis has 280 chartered clubs that the committee is unable to provide full support for, simply because of the sheer volume. “It’s tough for us to know what’s going on in 280 different organizations … So our goal is to learn what they’re doing, and to support them in ways that are going to help them reach their potential,” Tracy said.

The report will ask clubs to list goals they had for the semester and whether they reached those goals. This information will allow members of the Club Support Committee to figure out how to assist the clubs that were unable to reach their goals.

The report is “a way for us to help club leaders to improve the way they manage their clubs,” said Tal Richtman, class of 2020 senator and member of the Club Support Committee. Club leaders will check participation and “set goals for the next semester or for this semester. This is what we expect club officers to do when they lead a club.”

The committee is asking for information on things that a club is already expected to provide for their members, the senators said. They do not want clubs to feel afraid or policed by the report. It is more of a tool for the committee to see the status of the club and to help them improve.

The committee will not punish clubs for poor attendance, underused funding or unpopular events. Instead, members of the support committee plan to use the information to reach out to club leaders and advise them on how to improve issues like attendance. “We’re not trying to grade the clubs. If we see a club is struggling and we have the tools that can help benefit them, we would want to email them, bring them into a meeting, and have a conversation with them about it. And not … like a slap on the wrist, but … let’s work together,” Tracy said.

The committee will also use the reports to gauge the usefulness of workshops they are developing for next semester. Richtman listed possible workshop topics, among them public relations, social media outreach, conflict resolution and administrative management. The reports will contribute to promoting a collaborative environment between clubs on campus. Some clubs do not realize that other clubs function with similar purposes, Richtman said.

The reports will allow the committee to reach out to clubs that may be able to share advice and work together to increase the benefit of their event.

The committee hopes that these reports will also help to put together a highlight reel of sorts to show the best of what Brandeis clubs are doing. “We want to be able to put these highlights together to say, ‘These are what Brandeis clubs are doing and this is what makes Brandeis so great,’” Tracy said.

The report will act as self-reflection for clubs as well, Tracy said. By filling out the report, clubs will have a clearer platform to track the progress of their goals and can monitor how successful they have been in achieving them.

The committee expects all members of a club’s E-board to help fill out the report. The information provided in the report will only be shared with the Club Support Committee. “We are not going to be telling clubs what other clubs are doing,” Tracy said. The information about a club’s inventory and use of allocated funds may be shared with A-board as well. However, A-board already has access to a club’s SUMS account and can view their use of allocated funding, according to Tracy.

An anonymous survey will also be accessible for club leaders and members by the end of the semester. This survey will allow any students to voice concerns or questions about problems or difficulties they face within a club. It will allow Club Support Committee members to facilitate discussions and better the working environment within the club.

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