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Sixty-Three Student Groups Apply for New Recognition Following Hiatus

Members of various student organizations on campus publicized their groups to freshmen and upperclassmen at the Student Involvement Fair.
Members of various student organizations on campus publicized their groups to freshmen and upperclassmen at the Student Involvement Fair. By Megan M. Ross
By Junina Furigay and Kenton K. Shimozaki, Crimson Staff Writers

Sixty-three groups of students submitted applications to establish new clubs, commencing the first cycle where the power to approve new campus organizations will principally rest in the hands of students, according to Associate Dean for Student Engagement Alexander R. Miller.

The Undergraduate Council will review proposals the new student groups in November and a majority vote of the full body will be required for approval, a significant departure from prior procedures. The approved clubs will hold a provisional status for one year followed by a subsequent UC review for full recognition.

In February, the College’s Office of Student Life declined to accept new applications for student groups, seeking to stem the proliferation of student organizations on campus and to increase student involvement in the approval process. The Committee on Student Life, a student-faculty committee charged with official recognition powers over campus clubs, delegated the bulk of recognition powers to the UC in March.

Now, the Committee on Student Life will “rubber-stamp” the UC’s recommendation for provisional approval, according to Miller. Though a handful of undergraduates serve on the Committee on Student Life, the new process will be the first time College students seeking to form new clubs will be evaluated by their peers.

Miller said that the multi-step process will begin in the coming weeks. Prospective club leaders will meet with staff from College offices that advise student groups with similar activities—new a capella groups would meet with the Office for the Arts, for instance.

“These students will begin to meet with campus partners who are looked at as essentially content experts,” Miller added.

Following a preliminary evaluation by College offices, the applicants will be forwarded on to the Rules Committee of the Undergraduate Council.

The College currently recognizes 437 independent student organizations, according to Miller. Though the Office of Student Life placed over 50 clubs on probation for failing to complete mandatory registration requirements, many of the student groups regained their recognition status following additional training.

In 2016, the Committee on Student Life approved 31 of the 38 applications for new clubs under the old process.

—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.

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