Recently, 67 clubs and organizations on campus have been deemed “frozen,” by Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL). The organizations cannot access their funding (via the banking center), reserve space on campus to hold meetings, hang posters or use Get Involved to recruit members. Executive board members must attend at least two Marauder’s Lead sessions with a total of eight participants in order to return back to unfrozen status. This is the CSIL’s response to organization presidents not attending or leaving the Student Organization Leadership Conference early.
Many students and club advisors are upset with CSIL’s email communication and enhanced repercussions than in years past. Irena Riley, president of German Club could not attend the conference, but sent the German Club’s treasurer. The treasurer left early. “I was shocked when I received the email,” Riley said. “I get that leadership is important, but I didn’t expect to be punished.”
The original email that the presidents, of clubs and organizations, received states the date and time of the conference and they were invited to join. A link is provided within the email and only within the link on Get Involved do students see that the conference is mandatory. Nowhere in the emails and the link does CSIL add the consequences of not attending the conference or leaving early.
The Get Involved link leads students to a post that said, “Come out and learn valuable skills that will help your organization while meeting new people. Presidents and Treasurers are required to attend.”
“[The organization] saw one was copied to advisers on July 31; however, I checked my email and didn’t receive it. Why send [the original email] to advisers and club leaders in the middle of summer?” Dr. Jill Craven, English chair and advisor of the English Club and the Film Club, said.
Once the conference date passed, an email was sent out to the 67 clubs and organizations explaining the consequences of missing or leaving the conference early. This email provided the reasons for the organizational freeze and the consequences, but it did not specifically state that clubs and organizations’ funds were frozen.
“Frozen organizations may not reserve any space on campus for meetings, events or fundraising purposes; you will not be approved to hang flyers; and you will not be able to use Get Involved for communication or recruiting purposes,” Nikki Rohrback, the CSIL Secretary, said in an email to the frozen organizations.
Immediately, the response to the email was negative. Craven responded back to the email sent by Rohrback. “After years as a successful advisor, I am discouraged about what Students Affairs is doing to make club activities more difficult to have. With student engagement a strategic priority for the campus, I see these policies as working against the strategic plan,” Craven wrote.
This the first year that there is such a strong response from CSIL in regards to missing the conference or leaving early. “I didn’t hear of any outcomes [from previous years] actually,” Riley said.
Student organizations now have to function while being frozen. Riley said the German Club is affected by this freeze. The German Club has bills that are pending and they need to pay for services they have already utilized. Certain clubs are unable to operate when their funds are frozen. The Film Club is also suffering from the frozen funds.
“We cannot offer any events. This impacts the film club specifically because it has to schedule films ahead of time. The way they have changed the events to ‘rolling approvals’ has already problematized any volume discounts we had in the past,” Craven said.
In order for these 67 clubs and organizations to become unfrozen, they will have to attend Marauder Leads sessions. CSIL has created the Marauders Lead Series for students in leadership roles within Millersville clubs and organizations. Also, these sessions are open to individuals wishing to improve their leadership skills. The next sessions are as followed:
•Thursday, Oct. 1 at noon
in SMC 118- Escalation
•Tuesday, Oct. 6 at noon
in SMC 18- Student Organization
•Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
in SMC 18- Team Work
•Thursday, Oct. 8 at noon
in SMC 118- Team Work
•Thursday, Oct. 15 at 4
p.m. in SMC 118- Student Organization
CSIL added two more Marauder Leads sessions to the schedule.
Those wanting to voice their opinions on their club or organization’s frozen status are encouraged to attend the next Student Senate meeting. “Student Senate meetings are open to all students, faculty, and staff every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in SMC 118. You are more than welcome to come speak at a Student Senate meeting during the Public Comments section. If you would like, we can put you on the agenda for this week’s upcoming meeting on Thurs,
Oct. 1, 2015. I would really appreciate it if you replied to this email with your plans to attend, so you can be added to the agenda. Student Senate also hosts an open Student Concerns committee meeting every Monday at 6 p.m. in the Student Senate office in SMC 118 F. If you and other students, faculty, and staff would like to voice your concerns, this is the most appropriate place to do so,” Christian Copeland, Student Senate president, said.
For questions regarding frozen organizations, please contact CSIL at CSIL@millersville.edu or call (717)871-7057.