USG Approves Record Number of Clubs

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By TYLER MARTINS
Editor-in-Chief
Published: December 10, 2014

On Thursday, Dec. 4, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC)’s United Student Government (USG) approved the creation of five new clubs on campus, according to Vice President of Operations Jacob Azrilyant, FCLC ’16.

The addition of the five clubs brings the total of clubs created this semester to a record high of seven. Only six clubs were created during the entire 2013-2014 academic year. 

The clubs approved this semester include Archery Club, Generation Citizen, Basketball Club, Film Society, Investment Group at Fordham Lincoln Center, Model United Nations and Philosophy club.

The process for starting a new club on campus begins with the parties interested in submitting an online form. Next, the students meet with USG’s Vice President of Operations to discuss the club registration packet, which “contains the advisor consent form, executive board information, club member petitions and example constitution,” Azrilyant said.

Crafting the constitution “can take up to several weeks, to a month, [to] two months depending on how complex they want their constitution to be,” Azrilyant said. Club constitutions “outline everything from the executive board members, who they are when they meet, what their purpose is, when they hold elections,” according to Azrilyant.

After several rounds of revisions, the constitution is reviewed by Keith Eldredge, dean of students at FCLC, and Dorothy Wenzel, Ph.D, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD). Once approved, the club registration packet is up for a vote by the USG Senate.

If approved, clubs will be put on a 14-week probationary period, where they can only request two budget line items from Student Activities Budget Committee (SABC). “Full approval can take somewhere from a month up to a full semester,” Azrilyant said.

“Given the seven we just approved, there have been 18 other club requests,” Azrilyant said. “Four out of the 18 are currently in the constitution editing process.”

According to Azrilyant, there has been more interest in creating clubs on campus this year. “Last year, we had 21 outstanding club requests, which means not approved, and right now, there have been 25 [outstanding] club requests this semester alone.”

How has the new freshmen class impacted club requests? “13 of the requests this semester are from freshmen,” Azrilyant said. Of the seven clubs approved this semester, two have been spearheaded by freshmen: Film Society and the Investment Group at Fordham Lincoln Center. “I find it interesting how freshmen are always the most excited,” he said. “Day two of orientation, I got two new club requests.”

“This freshman class specifically, has shown a particular amount of energy we haven’t seen before-culture changes from class to class but they are really enthusiastic,” Azrilyant said.

The downside to approving a record number of clubs is whether or not SABC will be able to fill budget requests. “The student activities fee is the same every year, and the amount of money we have every year stays the same. We’re hoping with the new [Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center] that we will see an increase, but I can’t say with any certitude that that will be enough,” Azrilyant said.

“While not all clubs ask for a lot of money, it’s a question of how many because eventually we won’t be able to support a large amount of clubs,” he said.

A short answer component has been added to the club registration packet this year as a result to the drastic increase in club requests, where interested parties must outline how their proposed club will benefit the community, its short and long-term goals, and an example of what a typical club meeting would look like. 

In addition, the Operations Committee now requires a sample budget. “This will help raise the standard of clubs because sometimes we get a club that’s not a really formed idea,” Azrilyant said.