Work Group Collects Social Club Suggestions
Issue   |   Wed, 12/09/2015 - 02:43

The Social Project Work Group is preparing a plan to introduce social clubs for a trial period next semester, following an information session at the Powerhouse on Thursday, Nov. 19 in which the group solicited possible themes for social clubs from students. The work group plans to release a poll to the student body this week to determine which clubs will make the final cut for the trial period.

The work group also sent an open Google Doc to the student body where students could submit their ideas for social clubs on Nov. 21. Information required for submission included a club name, representative colors and mascot, the names of at least five members, three ideas for intra-club activities and two ideas for “feasible school-wide events.” The deadline for submissions was Dec. 4.

According to Tom Sommers ’16, a member of the work group, the final roster of social clubs will be determined by the end of the semester and will likely include five or fewer social clubs. After the deadline for online submissions, the work group narrowed down the list to nine ideas, and will continue working on the list through the final weeks of the semester.

“We plan to meet with at least one representative of each submission individually this week in order to clarify their ideas and make sure that they are feasible,” work group member Meghan McDonough ’16 said.

It is still not clear how social clubs will be funded. “We are still in the process of obtaining absolute numbers on funding,” Virginia Hassell ’16, a member of the group, said. “We have a meeting with the administration this week to nail these details down. It’s likely that our budget will not be as robust as we hoped, but we have the utmost confidence that clubs will be able to work with the available budget to make successful and creative events.”

Members of the work group said that events relating to the Frost sit-in required them to put work on the proposal on hold. Administrators in the Office of Student Affairs had been unavailable to meet with them since the Oct. 23 discussion after the student vote. The work group will meet with Dean of Students Alex Vasquez and Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey on Wednesday, Dec. 9, primarily to discuss funding.

The work group continues to discuss whether the newly created groups should be called “social clubs.” Sommers said that the clubs may violate the board of trustees’ decision in 1984 that banned “rushing, pledging, initiating or otherwise admitting to or maintaining membership by any student of the college in any fraternity, sorority or other social club, society or organization (however denominated).”

According to Sommers, the work group will keep the name “social clubs” for now, because it is familiar to the student body, but reconsider it before next semester.

Hassell said the work group intends to complete the plan for implementing the trial period during interterm.

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