Taking the life out of the students
New club policy puts control in the wrong hands
Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
A leaked MediaFire file caught the attention of a few UB students over the weekend, especially those who participate in clubs.
Anyone that took even a moment’s glance at the document, entitled “University-Wide Recognition Student Club and Organization Policy,” will notice that something is amiss: it’s not property of the Student Association, which currently has full control over the university’s clubs – from recognition to funding. Instead, the document comes from UB’s Student Life, which wants to take the reins. If it goes uncontested or unaltered, the policy will start come spring semester, and the university will decide which clubs get recognition.
Student Life hasn’t showed interest in what the clubs are doing until now, so what has changed?
UB, you’ve made it evident you’re a little more than just tentative about allowing students have full control or letting the SA make decisions. Sikander Khan and his $300,000 scandal are still fresh in your mind. And you’re just as unwilling to forget the back-and-forth between the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) and SA last school year. This is just easier – making sure you have the control and the power to fix your reputation.
Maybe it’s too easy. In fact, it’s the most lazy way of “doing something” imaginable. The school wants to lower its liability by making sure it has full control. If something goes wrong, it’s in the school’s hands instead of putting trust in student control.
After years of being preached to that clubs and organizations give you “real world experience,” students will now have their hands held through every fundraiser and financial transaction. Under the new rules, clubs are required to find their own advisers, a move that is just going to make it more difficult for prospective clubs to be added, especially if those advisers are nothing more than names on a paper. Who is liable for them, and who’s to say that these adults won’t be just as corrupt as students have the potential to be?
Despite not being what the university considers adults unless it’s convenient, these are student-run organizations without administrative control. Every now and then, a mistake will be made – after all, we’re only human – but the same can be said for mistakes the administration makes.
If your club doesn’t fit the mold of what UB deems to be acceptable or possibly doesn’t agree with your mission, you can kiss your club goodbye.
In case you missed it (and you probably did), Student Life held a public forum last night to talk about the changes. Why didn’t more students get an email or even know what was going on? Perhaps the school is relying on student apathy – after all, if people don’t show up, there won’t be anyone to contest the changes.
SA spent a lot of time rewriting club rules while school was out of session to make it easier for prospective clubs to be created. Now, if the proposal goes into effect, those previous complications are going to reinstate and double.
Student government may have its flaws, but it gives students the powers to create clubs and run them on their own with fingers crossed. The policy attacks the heart of the school – the students. Take that away, and you’re stuck with more of what we already have – out-of-touch leaders running what they work hard to create.