Clubs discuss improvements with SU

By Amy Badry

The Students’ Union held a town hall on Nov. 20 for clubs to bring up desired policy changes.

All campus clubs were asked to talk about club procedures and available resources.

Feedback from clubs about what the SU can do to improve services was encouraged.

Engineering student society president John McDonald applauded the SU in their efforts to “reach out to students to try and improve services.”

Approximately 50 people participated in roundtable discussions facilitated by SU members said vice-president student life Jennifer Abbott.

“There were a lot of great ideas put forth by clubs,” said Abbott.

Abbott indicated club funding and the way clubs offices were chosen were big issues. Currently offices are decided by a committee.

“A lot of the feedback was really positive and we got a lot of good suggestions,” said Abbott.

“The turnout was quite exceptional,” said Scene and Heard club president and SU arts faculty representative Lara Schmitz. “People are concerned about their club and the benefits and the connection to the SU.”

Scene and Heard vice-president Haley Kluge was concerned about club funding.

The SU gives start-up grants for clubs in their first year as well as food, drink and special event funding.

“For our club we are looking for something that is in-between,” said Kluge. “There are just little things you need as you become a more established club.”

McDonald was also concerned about fiscal accountability for clubs.

“ESS has a fairly large budget and we have checks and balances to make sure money isn’t spent or squandered or stolen,” said McDonald. “Smaller clubs, where maybe one person is controlling the money, there is not necessarily someone looking over their shoulder making sure everything is working out.”

Competition between clubs was another topic discussed at the town hall.

“In essence you are competing for members at the beginning of the year,” said Kluge. “But what lots of clubs don’t realize is that people will sign up throughout the year.”

“The ski club and the origami club are two totally different clubs and they are looking at totally different target markets,” Kluge said.

Schmitz said no steps were taken yet to resolve issues addressed at the town hall.

“It was mostly sort of to get a glimpse of what it is like right now and get and idea of what is working and what isn’t,” said Schmitz.

Ideas proposed during the town hall will be reviewed by the SU Governance Review Committee.

“The purpose of GRC is to look at the current procedures and structures and then what GRC does is make recommendations,” said Abbott.

Recommendations are brought to the Student Legislative Council to be turned into policy.

Kluge and Schmitz will be compiling information about the clubs and contacting clubs that were not able to attend the town hall to get their feedback for the SU.

“The town hall was specifically to get our starting point before we do anything official,” said Schmitz

Another town hall will take place in February.

“The SU is really proud of clubs,” said Schmitz. “I see clubs as the heart in community engagement and involvement”

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