SOAC begins accepting new applications for SGA recognition

The Student Organization Advisory Committee (SOAC) will begin selecting new student organizations for recognition from the Student Government Association (SGA) and the University this month.

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New organizations on campus will have to submit their applications for recognition by Feb. 21st at 12:00 p.m., marking the first phase of the process. Following the application submission, these new organizations are asked to give a ten minute long presentation to the Advisory Committee regarding the purpose and mission of the organization and the need for it on campus, according to SOAC Chair Elise Kerim.

Every semester, a new committee is chosen to review and approve new student organizations. Members include the SGA Senate Speaker, two SGA Senators, two students not affiliated with SGA and two faculty members. Kerim, who serves as SGA Secretary, is part of this committee but does not cast a vote due to her duty as overseer of the process.

New organizations aren’t the only ones applying this semester; groups who fall under the provisional status for a year will now be able to apply for full recognition. Provisional organizations include the Period Movement, the Astronomy Club and many others.

Organizations who are provisional must remain under this status for a year before becoming eligible for full recognition. According to Kerim, “this year allows for them to become familiar with their bearings as a new group and are fully able to implement their programming ideas as an organization.”

Groups that are either provisional or fully recognized receive almost all of the same benefits, including a Seton Hall email address for the organization, access to University spaces, and permission to recruit, advertise, and fundraise on campus. Once a student organization becomes fully recognized, however, groups also receive a yearly budget from SGA.

Kerim explained the importance of the provisional status moreover by saying, “we would be in danger and careless if we gave new organizations a budget without making sure they know how to be successful.”

The renewal of recognition is also an important factor of this process for student organizations. Student organizations who have already been recognized are required to fill out an annual registration form at the end of every academic year. This updates the Advisory Committee on the ongoing functions of a particular student organization, including changes in the Executive Board, the membership roster, and an updated constitution.

Student organizations must complete this process in order to remain an active organization. Depending on how long an organization has been inactive, they will either have to complete a reactivation form or completely re-apply through SOAC.

Overall, university and SGA recognition for student organizations has the potential of bolstering the group. Shimoli Parikh, president of the Period Movement on campus, says that recognition has allowed the organization to be more accessible for students of campus.

“We are now able to advertise ourselves at involvement fairs. At the last fair alone, we gained over 30 new members,” Parikh said about University and SGA recognition.

Recognition also helps organizations create a bond with SGA and the University. Richard Sevilla, president of the Astronomy Club, said that “being recognized as a club gives you an open door to SGA’s resources and people that are willing to help you lead and develop your club. Their guides and infographics makes it really easy to know how to plan, when to plan, and all the behind the scenes in clubs that not many people get to see.”

Once applications are reviewed, presentations for new student organizations will be taking place on March 13.

Laura Maletz can be reached at laura.maletzbaharona@student.shu.edu.

Author: Laura Maltez-Barahona

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