The Student Union Senate voted unanimously to pass a new amendment that restructures the club recognition and chartering process on Sept. 17. The amendment was designed to ensure that all clubs on campus are viable, have measurable goals and receive the proper amount of funding, while increasing the efficiency of the Senate approval process.
The main changes include requiring clubs to work more with the Club Support Committee and a “probationary period” for new clubs.
Senators Tal Richtman ’20, chair of the Club Support committee, Abhishek Kulkarni ’18, chair of the Bylaws Committee and other Club Support Committee members met with other Union members, club officers, the Allocations Board and Student Activities to establish the new club recognition process. “The idea was that Tal and I noticed Brandeis has a ton of clubs, but there are also limited resources,” stated Kulkarni.
There is now a 14-week probationary period for all new clubs. Under the old system, new clubs presented once for the Senate to get recognized and again after 40 days to become chartered, meaning they could request funds from A-board. Now, students will begin by working closely with the Club Support Committee and present only once before the full Senate to request the probationary status.
During this probationary period, new clubs will have access to limited A-board funding through a separate request process. They will then work towards the goals they set with Club Support. After 14 weeks, the committee will check-in with leaders, and if the group is meeting its goals, it will be officially established. If the committee deems that the club has not met its goals, then it will begin another 14-week probationary period. If club support decides the club is not viable, it will be disbanded.
Another new feature is that rather than getting 150 students signatures, new clubs must have 15 members provide paragraph long statements expressing why they want to join the club and why it would benefit the Brandeis community. This provision allows club members, rather than just club leaders, to give insight into why the club should be chartered.
Toxic Majorette Dance Line was the first new club to use the new recognition process. The Senate voted to grant the club probationary status on Sunday, Oct. 1, giving Toxic access to limited funding. Ketorah Walker ’18 and Asia Hollinger ’18, two of Toxic’s founders, gave a presentation in front of the Senate describing their club membership, rehearsal schedule and one semester plan.
Before their Senate presentation, Walker and Hollinger began working with the Club Support Committee to guarantee their club would have measurable goals and a solid membership. To retain members, the Club Support Committee suggested that Toxic have fewer mandatory rehearsals, according to Walker.
During Toxic’s 14-week probationary period, it will focus on getting into the community and hopefully creating a majorette dance program in Waltham schools as well as working towards a semester show, said Walker.
The probationary and established status is to ensure new clubs have proper oversight to make sure they are sustainable. As of now, the Senate has been operating under the understanding that a new club is chartered unless the Senate has reason to believe the club is exclusive, although this is not explicitly stated in the amendment, said Kulkarni.
A problem with the old system was that Senate trusted A-board to use discretion in funding chartered clubs, while A-board trusted the Senate to only charter clubs that deserved funding, but under the old system, the Senate generally charted every new club, noted Kulkarni.
Vidit Dhawan ’19, Senate Representative to A-board, will now be a member of the Club Support Committee to ensure clubs are getting the proper amount of funding.
All formerly charted clubs will remain unaffected by the new system. Clubs will have to submit a re-registration form every year with goals and reflections.