The Student Association (SA) has cleared their student club charter backlog after three years.
Over the years, there has been a growing number of clubs attempting to complete the chartering process, which is overseen by the SA’s Internal Affairs (IA) Committee. The IA Committee had kept a list of clubs that needed to be contacted, and also kept track of which ones needed provisional charters. With multiple deadlines created, as well as constant communication between clubs and IA, the 42-club backlog has been cleared.
Chance Fiorisi, the IA chair, the executive vice president (EVP) elect and a sophomore majoring in political science, described how the current committee worked through the backlog.
“I laid out a clear and concise list of clubs and dates that we would need to see by which dates before budget season deadlines came, and how much commitment the committee would have to put in,” Fiorisi wrote in an email. “With the help of my committee, each week we would meet with three to six clubs every Wednesday, which would sometimes keep our meetings lasting till 9 p.m.”
Fiorisi explained how the inaction of previous years had led the backlog to grow to 42 organizations.
“For three years, IA has slowly been building an [increasingly] larger list of clubs that needed to be seen and discussed,” Fiorisi wrote. “The IA committee was not properly checked or vetted by Congress leadership, and the chair was absent for this kind of accountability. When it came to this year, the IA chair resigned at the beginning of the fall semester.”
According to the SA website, the student club chartering process involves specific steps. It begins when the person who wishes to start a club sends a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. They would then meet with the EVP assistant, who would discuss the process and give the applicant a link to the charter process form. The EVP requires multiple forms to be approved by its office, some of which include a constitution and a signature sheet.
Afterward, the documents are sent to the IA committee, who would set up a meeting with the person who wishes to start the club and give them the opportunity to defend why the organization deserves the charter. After the request is approved, the applicant would meet with the EVP’s office for further steps.
According to Fiorisi, in prior years, groups would still go through the process of doing the paperwork and presentation, but there was an additional step of returning a year later to give an updated presentation to the IA committee. This year, Fiorisi wrote legislation that removed the one-year provisional status and replaced it with a meeting with the EVP instead.
One student who recently went through the chartering process is Skyla Rivera, a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law. She said she was wary of the backlog before it was cleared.
“I had heard that there was a backup in the chartering process and was a bit nervous as to how long it would’ve taken to receive an answer about our charter membership,” Rivera said. “However, every part of the chartering process was organized and done with amazing time management, so my nerves were put to rest fairly quickly.”
Many students shared Rivera’s sentiment, with varying ideas on how chartering more clubs can change student life at Binghamton University.
Eric Wisnom, a senior majoring in environmental science, suggested clearing the backlog could lead to more clubs being founded.
“It sounds great,” Wisnom said. “It sounds like a lot of people are able to move forward in pursuing things outside their academics. Diverse interest will always be a good thing.”
Sebastian Senande, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, emphasized that the SA should prioritize the chartering of clubs.
“It should be more of a priority for the school to recognize them,” Senande said. “It’s an opportunity for students to diversify what they do other than academics. I think the sooner the school can recognize more organizations, it gives students more to do.”