5C Clubs to Complete Yearly Review
Carlos Ballesteros | March 14, 2014, 5:16 p.m.
Leaders of 5C student organizations that are funded by the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) received an email March 4 notifying them that they must fill out an annual organization review by April 4. This is a new requirement for groups that wish to submit funding requests in the annual budget hearing for the upcoming school year.
Groups without annual organization reviews will be excluded from the 2014-2015 budget hearings, which would, according to ASPC bylaws, mean that they would only able to obtain 75 percent of the current ASPC funding allocation for the 2015-2016 academic year.
ASPC Vice President for Finance Eric Martínez PO '14 said that the review is intended to help the ASPC more effectively manage club funding.
“One of the drivers behind going forth with this review was to start to examine which organizations across the colleges that are funded by ASPC can be considered discrepancies, in the sense that an organization is very similar that could really merge into one,” he said. “We could essentially find ways to pull together those funds and combine those organizations, or at the very least have greater collaboration between the two.”
While he said that consolidating groups would be ideal in terms of reducing budgetary expenses, Martínez noted that the ASPC is not looking to coerce groups into merging.
“We don’t want organizations to walk away with the idea that we’re trying to get rid of them,” he said. “The intent is more to find ways for organizations to collaborate more effectively. The fact that there are so many sundry organizations is definitely a positive because of the diversity within each group."
The review will require each group to send a copy of its mission and constitution, along with a summary of the organization’s previous and current efforts to fulfill the organization’s purpose. According to Martínez, these inclusions will allow the ASPC to better assist organizations in achieving their goals.
"We're hoping to give student organizations an assessment tool to help them reflect on their goals/objectives and on the work they do," Chris Waugh, the director of the Smith Campus Center, wrote in an email to TSL.
Student organizations are also expected to submit a spreadsheet with the names and student ID numbers of all current members of the group. The ASPC is asking that the roster matches the one listed on the organization’s CollegiateLink website. Every person who is not on both lists will not be considered as a member of the group by the ASPC.
Many group leaders expressed concern over this portion of the review at the mandatory information session on March 11, mainly because ASPC funding is heavily influenced by the total number of students in an organization.
For Angeles Contreras PO '15, president of Las Claremont Señoritas and co-president of Empowered Latinos/as in Action (ELA), the main concern lies in deciding what “current members” actually means.
“There are some organizations that just have an executive board of six people that are in charge of gigantic events in which 200 people show up,” she said. “How are you supposed to determine who is a ‘current member’ in such situations?”
Contreras also notes that student organizations do not follow a uniform structure when it comes to attendance.
“For Señoritas, you have to attend all the meetings and all of the events in order to be a part of the group, so it’s easier to handle the roster situation,” she said. “ELA, however, isn’t like that at all. There are meetings every week, but our membership isn’t based off of attendance."
Instead, ELA is structured more like an on-campus support group, with students attending events here and there.
"We’re really open and people can just drop in whenever they need support or want to take part in our activities," Contreras said. "It’s meant to be more of a resource. How are we to keep track of those members? We can’t force them to sign up for CollegiateLink, and it’s only around 10 people that show up for every meeting.”
Waugh wrote that in his experience, similar yearly reviews at other institutions have "increased students' experience in the organizations as well as increased their impact" on the student body.
The title of this article has been revised to reflect that clubs will complete a yearly review, not audit.