Salisbury University offers a variety of organizations and clubs that allow students to become involved in both the campus community and the broader Salisbury community.
However, in order to receive funding, be able to host events and be recognized as an organization by the Student Government Association, many of these organizations are struggling to meet the requirements that the SGA has set.
“Currently, they [organizations] need to attend all of the student government organization forums, which there are four per semester, as well as participate in two recognized events per semester. These past two semesters, we have had six options for them to choose from,” the president of the SGA, Devin Neil, stated in reference to the requirements organizations must meet to stay recognized.
Many organizations, the SU community and the Salisbury community do see the benefit of participating in recognized events, such as I Love Salisbury, which allow students to go into the community and provide service.
Jamie Barbosa, president of the Asian Pacific Islander Club, believes recognized events help to bring some clubs together.
“It is nice if there aren’t that many events that we do to have SGA bring our clubs together outside of meeting times,” Barbosa said.
While some SU organizations, especially those with a large number of members, do not struggle to meet these requirements, clubs with few members may struggle to do so. For one recognized event, called Recycle Madness, each club must donate 75 lbs or more of recycling, no matter the size of the club. Such a requirement seems to put small organizations at a disadvantage.
Even more, it can be challenging for organizations to have enough member participation during the recognized events, because most members are usually in multiple organizations and must prioritize their clubs.
Barbosa, who is also involved in the Honors Student Association, the RA honors society and BioEnviron, feels the challenge to divide her time and resources amongst her clubs.
“Splitting mine [my recycling] between BioEnviron and HSA is kind of hard because I know that HSA has a lot of people to contribute, but BioEnviron does not, but I’m on the exec board for HSA so I feel like I have to contribute more because I’m on the executive board,” Barbosa said. “It definitely is a struggle because we want to give so much to these clubs, but we have to prioritize which ones come first.”
Volunteer and service clubs also struggle to encourage members to attend recognized events because members are already working to serve the community and may not have the time to do more outside their organization.
Senior Madison Groth is president of Best Buddies, a group that works with the developmentally and intellectually disabled, said she finds it difficult to ask her members to give more of their time.
“Our organization is based on that, [giving back to the community] so it’s kind of a struggle to get people involved in different aspects of giving back to the community since they are already doing it with us,” Groth said.
In order to accommodate the needs of organizations at SU, the SGA must reevaluate its policy on maintaining a recognized status as an organization.
Small organizations should not be held to the same standards as clubs who have double or triple the number of members, especially events such as Recycle Madness that have a set number of donations no matter the size of the organization. Likewise, service clubs should be acknowledged for the service that they already provide and should not be required to participate in excess service events.
Despite these issues, however, it does appear that the topic of organization recognition is one subject on the SGA agenda, and the future looks hopeful for the organizations that are currently struggling to stay recognized.
“Our recognition requirements have been in place for a long time, and it something as we grow as an institution and as a student body [that] we are trying to meet the needs and interests of students while maintaining our own goals. It’s not an easy issue to solve, but it is something that we are working on,” Neil stated.
By LAURA AMRHEIN
Featured photo: Salisbury Student Government Association image.