By Piper Sartison
Elm Staff Writer
On April 3, the Student Government Association released the updated bylaws for clubs and student organizations at Washington College via email.
According to sophomore and SGA Vice President Alex May, one of the primary purposes of the bylaws was to adapt to the COVID-19 policies while encouraging students to stay motivated within their clubs.
The bylaws enumerated in the email regard club requirements in structural, administrative, and activity areas.
Bylaws such as requirements to have an advisor and to fill all officer positions outlined in their constitutions address club executive board structures.
The clauses inform clubs that they must maintain communication and records with SGA, including a roster of active members; answer questions from the SGA vice president and Organizations Committee; submit a budget every semester; maintain a positive account balance; plan to cover account deficits; and inform the financial controller of all needed reimbursements within two weeks enumerate expectations for how club executives will fulfill regular administrative duties.
Other requirements, such as registering all meetings; submitting a club activity form to the Organizations Committee at least once per academic year; and sponsoring or co-sponsoring at least one all-campus event a semester give guidance to club activity that aligns with Section VII(a) of the bylaws, which defines an inactive club and the requirements for club deactivation.
While Section VII(a) of the bylaws state that clubs and student interest groups may be inactive if they do not have an advisor or officer team; do not hold at least one event per semester; or do not meet the 10-member minimum requirement.
The 10-member minimum requirement is suspended for the spring 2021 and fall 2021 semesters.
May said Senate approved the renewal of accommodations for clubs and SIGS on Feb. 16. The original accommodations were passed in fall 2020 under former SGA Vice President and junior Emilee Daniel. The original accommodations suspended both the 10-member minimum and interest meeting requirements for active clubs and SIGs.
Regarding the 10-member minimum requirement suspension, May said the accommodation renewal was approved because “the COVID pandemic has been hard for clubs and organizations to recruit [members].”
Rather than requiring clubs and SIGs to meet the minimum member requirement, they instead must “show us how they attempt to recruit new members and keep track of involvement and meeting attendance through CampusGroups,” according to May.
While many of the bylaw requirements are part of regular club management, the one event per semester expectation is a change from the aforementioned interest meeting requirement waiver.
The required event could be any club meeting, be it an interest meeting or formal event.
According to May, the policy “will make people get more involved, especially through Campus Groups. It’ll help involvement on campus, but it will also help clubs maintain their name.”
“I think that it is a valid rule,” junior Emily Hurley, president of the composting club, said. “I think the focus of clubs should be to enhance campus life at WC and that can’t really be done without at least one campus-wide event each semester.”
Because clubs are expected to register their events through Campus Groups, SGA will have access to the number of organized gatherings each club schedules.
According to May, this access helps SGA ensure that each club is following the updated bylaw.
If club executives have any questions or concerns, May encouraged students to reach out to the SGA through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Photo caption: After a year of hardship and virtual engagement for clubs, updated bylaws and expectations for the 2021-2022 academic year were shared with students on April 3. Elm File Photo.