Three things stand out as hurdles for club leaders: the bureaucratic system of having things approved, the role of faculty advisers and the attendance requirements of Inter-Club Council (ICC) meetings.
Clubs offer members a number of benefits from social opportunities, networking opportunities and professional development to experience in leadership, organization and management skills.
“Getting people involved with the club was the easy part,” said former Film Club President Tony Alfaro. “Taking minutes and getting folks to the ICC meetings was tough because it felt like a job.”
“ICC provides a table for club day and a room to meet,” said Alfaro. “Is that worth two hours a week? To the reps, the meetings feel pointless.”
A policy should be put in place that will hold the two hour general assemblies to once a month, instead of every week and then once a week, the clubs looking for funding or an ICC decision could attend a special meeting with the executive board as needed.
To make running clubs easier, the rules around faculty advisers need to be amended too.
ICC rules say club advisers are required to be at every official club meeting and event, a huge burden on already busy staff.
Clubs choose to have unofficial events to skirt around this but that bars them from event funding.
For some, being an official club may be more burdensome than being unofficial.
ICC, as a branch of ASDVC, is supposed to be the student representatives of the school representing the students’ voice and interests. Yet, with the risk management and layers of red tape, these student institutions feel like they are more interested in representing the school’s interests than the student body’s.
Some things are getting better.
One change that went through the amendment process was the movement of the deadline for club formation and renewal from only two weeks into a new semester to four weeks.
Student life office program coordinator John Christensen is heading up the DVCSync initiative, an online platform for club management, where forms can be found and filled out and clubs can communicate with their members.
Christensen acknowledges there are still bugs in the system that are being worked out but says that it will make things easier.
“With all due respect, we are not pulling the rules out of thin air,” said Christensen, citing the need for rules to be in place to ensure student safety and limit liability to the college.
Student life program manager Todd Farr noted the importance of adhering to college, local, state and federal policies and laws, especially those surrounding funding for clubs.
He suggests all clubs have a fiscal budget ready to request funds at the beginning of each school year.
“Participate in the ICC meetings and be a part of the process,” said Christensen. “It gives you an inside awareness of what is happening. You can’t initiate change if you don’t participate.”
Any problems clubs currently have about getting things approved will only become more difficult when DVC goes to the compressed calendar schedule, meaning there will be less time to get things done.