Club funding demonstrates need for reorganization
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 14:10
As enrollment increases, so does the number of registered clubs. According to the 2012-2013 viewbook, UCCS has 206 clubs and organizations, about 26 more than last year.
While more clubs would seem to mean that more students are networking and taking part in campus life, looking at the individual groups raises questions concerning duplicate clubs and excessive spending.
First, only two people are needed to form a club. There are essentially no restrictions on this: if you have a friend, you can create a club for any subject.
This can be good – it gives people with marginalized hobbies a way to connect with others, or just another person, on campus who share them.
But, as we have asked around about club activities this semester, we’ve noticed not all clubs on campus are as active or organized as they could be. As such, clubs that are inactive or misleading, especially to freshmen, don’t deserve to be registered.
Multiple club contacts from the club list available at the ROAR Office never returned our calls or emails after we’ve requested more information about them.
While a lack of response doesn’t necessarily mean a club is inactive, it’s still a concern, especially if those clubs are unresponsive to students, too.
Others that have responded, like the Mountain Bike Club, have told us their leadership had no events planned at all.
A club isn’t required to host events. But, if it does, members can request funds from SGA, which funds events that are “open and beneficial to all UCCS students.”
Funding proposals can be submitted for a maximum allowance of $3,000. Unfortunately, this funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
This caused a problem in February, when over three quarters of 2011-2012 club funding had already been spent. When that money runs out, no more clubs can request funding for the rest of the year.
Funding proposals are restricted to clubs that are registered with the ROAR Office, attend a club orientation meeting and are open to all students.
Afterward, the club receives $100 in Clyde’s Cash, student funds from the Student Activity Fee that SGA reserves for club expenses, and $100 in bookstore donations.
Once a club is registered, though, it can submit a funding proposal for various line items even if it doesn’t plan to hold an event.
Events funded by SGA are required to be open to all students so that we can see and participate in activities that student fees support.
But when activities outside of events can also be funded, that creates a situation in which students are paying for trivial expenses like snacks for meetings, which clubs should already be able to provide through their initial allowance – or even from their own pockets.
Club funding can further be drained due to duplicate clubs, like the two registered anime clubs on campus: Anime Culture and Japanese Anime and Culture Club. They’re not the only examples of duplicates, either: hookah and religion clubs have also multiplied.
While any student interest deserves an opportunity for representation on campus, there is no need for more than one club for the same hobby.
Consolidating duplicate clubs would save hundreds in student funds and benefit the members, as they would have the opportunity to meet even more students who share the same interests.
Clubs also need to be evaluated every semester and taken off the club list if they fail to show leadership or are inactive. If they are active but don’t respond to information requests from students, a new contact needs to be elected.
Clubs should continue to bring students together, especially in a university environment where we otherwise may not have the time to connect with other students.
But when student fees pay for that to happen, we need to be aware of how they’re spent and how they can easily be reduced so that we don’t have duplicate clubs and so that the clubs we do have receive funding throughout the year.