Student organizations missing student activities meeting deactivated

Patrick O'Brien and Tom Robb

Twenty-six student clubs have been deactivated until next January, according to an e-mail sent to all university club presidents and vice presidents from Director of Student Activities Sharron Evans. The deactivation came from failure to attend a workshop on Sept. 20 and 21 from 1:40 to 3:00 p.m, as mandated by the Student Activities Office, Additionally, active student clubs and organizations have until Monday, Oct. 2 to resubmit their charters or face deactivation for the rest of the fall semester.

The e-mail listed the “clubs that are now considered ‘inactive’ because of failure to attend any of the Basic Training.” It also stated that “All space that has been reserved will be canceled.”

Evans described the move as “a learning tool” and said that she has had “challenges with student leadership being responsible.”

This Basic Training, as it has been described, was designed to help student clubs navigate the various functions of Student Activities, including how to request funding and reserve rooms for events.

Evans said that if there were issues with communication as far as accurate contact information or “if the whole group turned over,” thus preventing attendance at the training sessions, she would be willing to meet with them.

As for any other organization, Evans said “If they received the e-mail and they failed to attend [the training], they will have another opportunity in January.”

Now that these 26 clubs, which include long-time organizations such as the Politics Club, the Black Caucus, the Silver Dollar Woman’s Organization at the Carruthers Center, and the Jewish student group Hillel have been deactivated, they can no longer request funds, reserve rooms or hold official events on campus.

Dennis Sagel, advisor to the deactivated International Students Club, said none of his members were available to attend the training. He said the club would continue functioning using their own funds rather than student fees and would meet in common areas like the Student Union.

Whether the deactivation policy is being enforced is questionable, as the Independent observed Hillel hosting a Jewish-Muslim dialogue event in CLS-3094 on Sept. 28 at 1:40 p.m., one day after Evans sent the e-mail. The event was planned prior to the club’s deactivation.

Evans said that she had a meeting scheduled with members of Hillel to discuss their status. At Hillel’s event on Sept. 28, members stated that they had contacted Evans to explain why they missed the workshop and asked if they could submit a letter to explain their absence. The students were allegedly told that while they could submit a letter, the decision to deactivate their club would not be changed.

Members of Hillel are considering organizing the deactivated campus groups to challenge the decision of the Student Activities Office.