New Requirements Stifle Student Organizations

Kee’Ara Smith, Staff Writer

“When I was a freshman there were tons of clubs to choose from but now with the new requirements to maintain an organization, it gets hard for the clubs to still be active,” said student Kaley Neal.

Georgia Southern has over 300 organizations, 66 of those were active registered on this campus last year. According to Paul Bradley Jr., the Assistant Director for the Office of Student Activities (OSA) for this campus, there are a total of 16 organizations that were frozen as of Sept. 6. 

“Organizations being frozen is somewhat common,” said Bradley Jr.

“The Office of Student Activities encourages registered student organizations to meet all annual requirements, which includes selecting their new officers prior to March 31. This ensures the organization’s eligibility to enter into the renewal process for the upcoming academic year.  Should an organization not meet the annual requirements prior to March 31, it is a little more difficult to meet them at the end of the year,” he added. 

“Other reasons for being converted to frozen status also include students graduating out or not having enough members to sustain the organization,” said Bradley Jr. 

While speaking to students during the student organization fair on Aug. 27 it became clear that most of the organizations didn’t submit the renewal form last May due to low attendance, poor participation or students graduating out. 

The renewal deadline for student led organizations was Aug. 1 with the final deadline being Sept. 2. 

If the organization did not complete the entire renewal process by the above date then it won’t be eligible for the 2019 fall semester. 

“Coming from the Statesboro [campus], Armstrong seemed refreshing. Clubs and organizations were hosting cookouts almost every week. We’re almost entering a month and I have barely seen any of the organizations I’ve seen when I first transferred,” said nursing major Farida Wilson-Sowah.

Even though a fair amount of organizations are frozen or no longer operational, Bradley Jr. has noticed “a lot of inquiries on how to start a new or join an existing student organization.”

Bradley Jr. stated the OSA is still willing to help out organizations that are frozen, “the annual renewal process is not intended to be punitive or stringent for students but rather to nurture student development, accountability, and initiative outside of the classroom. The Office of Student Activities continues to work with student organization leaders, their faculty/staff advisors, and other campus departments to assist frozen organizations with regaining their active status on campus.”

Advertising has played a big part in what clubs get the center of attention, and while the Georgia Southern marketing department has kept a lot of students informed, it has also left a lot of students in the dark on university going-ons like on-campus and club events, for instance.

Many students weren’t aware of recent events such as the Eagle Beach Bash on Tybee Island or the Georgia Southern Football Fan Fest at Memorial Stadium. 

To get more information about campus organizations go to “Myinvolvement” on the university website.