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Union to wait on club advisor project because of unpopularity, says Club Support Committee Chair

A bylaw proposal that would require all chartered clubs to have a club advisor is misunderstood, according to Chair of the Club Support Committee Joseph Coles ’22.

“It’s not being passed any time soon because it is very unpopular among clubs,” said Coles. “I think that people think that it gives the club consultant a lot of power over the club, and that’s not true.”

Senator Dane Leoniak ’20 told The Brandeis Hoot that he disagrees with Coles.  

“I understand why Joseph [Coles] thinks it’s a good idea. For clubs who aren’t on top of things, it would be helpful. But I do not think it is necessary for the majority of clubs, especially ones with long histories.”

Coles held office hours in order to advocate for the bylaw but said “unfortunately we didn’t get a big turn out, but I am still looking at things in the future to talk to clubs about it and change people’s minds.” 

Managing Editor of the Justice Jen Geller ’20, expressed her primary concerns with the bylaw. “When it comes to the Justice and other media organizations, my primary concern is the ability for us to remain independent without ties to a staff or faculty member on campus, who people may perceive as having control over our content, even if they do not.”

Geller said that for some clubs, the bylaw “might be helpful to have formal ties.” 

“One of the challenges with the bylaw can be finding appropriate faculty or staff to advise these clubs because it is only adding things on their plate without pay,” said a faculty club advisor who asked not to be named. “Another issue is scheduling. Advisors work during the day, most club meetings are during the evening.”

A consultant bylaw for secured clubs, clubs that have funding recorded in the Union Constitution, was introduced and passed in March 2019. Coles on the other hand, said he is pushing for the law to extend to all clubs.

Coles also said that the clubs would only have two meetings a semester with the advisors, which according to him, is little oversight.

Coles said that he will continue to reach out to clubs directly and add more office hours. He also explained there are club conversations every semester, where all the clubs come together and discuss aid from the Student Union, and he will bring up the bylaw in those meetings.

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