For students looking to create their own organization at Binghamton University, the guidelines for applying for a full Student Association (SA) charter have changed.
On March 22, the SA passed a resolution amending the full charter status timeline. The revised policy states clubs must hold a provisional charter for a full calendar year before applying for a full charter from the Internal Affairs Committee. The previous guidelines required a provisional charter to be held for two semesters, only one of which had to be full.
A club is required by the SA to receive a provisional charter before applying for a full charter. When acquiring a provisional charter, a club must first gain 150 signatures from the student body in support of the organization. After this, a constitution must be drafted and meetings must be held to establish authoritative roles within the club. After meeting with the SA Executive Vice President (EVP) and uploading all necessary paperwork, a provisional charter may be granted to the new organization.
The policies will take effect beginning the fall 2022 semester. Sakib Choudhury, the SA EVP and a senior majoring in computer engineering, said the current guidelines are slightly more vague than the revised version.
“This timeline does not fully define the length of which a club must have a provisional charter before applying for a full charter,” Choudhury wrote in an email. “It also gives preference to clubs chartered at the end of a semester because a club provisionally chartered at the end of a semester would become eligible to apply for a full charter at the same time as a club that was provisionally chartered at the beginning of a semester.”
Choudhury said the new policy will not have a large effect on the chartering process for clubs and other organizations at the University.
“I am confident that this new rule for the chartering process will not affect the accessibility of the chartering process,” Choudhury wrote. “The same requirements are still in place with the exception of a minor change to the timeline.”
Nortee Panpinyo, president of the Thai Student Association — a club seeking a full charter — and senior majoring in systems science and industrial engineering, said the change would only have a limited effect on the organization were it to apply.
“As an organization, the charter resolution will not affect our organization since we were provisionally chartered prior to the fall 2022 point made at the end of the resolution,” Panpinyo wrote in an email. “However, if we were getting our provisional charter during fall 2022, we believe the changes would only delay the overall process of getting fully chartered by a few months.”
The Thai Student Association received its provisional charter in March, after a five-month period. According to Panpinyo, this was “relatively quick.”
Panpinyo said a full charter would give the Thai Student Association similar benefits to a provisional charter, although a full charter would further solidify the organization.
“We believe organizations affected by the changes will benefit, as it ensures that [two] full semesters are fulfilled under a provisional charter where you have the same access to organization necessities such as room bookings, finance and ability to market on [BU] platforms,” Panpinyo wrote.
Lila Pomerantz, president of the Art Club — another organization with a provisional charter — and a junior majoring in graphic design, is hopeful for what a full charter would allow the Art Club to do for its members. Pomerantz said that by the end of the fall 2022 semester, the club will be eligible to apply for a full charter.
“A full charter would give us the funding to provide art supplies for all of the students that attend our meetings,” Pomerantz wrote in an email. “We plan to provide a variety of supplies from acrylic, watercolor and oil paint to pens and pencils, allowing for mixed media art pieces and experimentation.”