Editorial: Student Organization Cuts

Editorial: Student Organization Cuts

Just as freedom of speech allows us to express our beliefs and opinions, freedom to create student organizations allows us to express our interests and passions.

I was shocked at the most recent leadership academy meeting when student organization leaders were asked to brainstorm ways in which we could cut the number of student organizations from the current number of 76 to 60 for next year.

Limiting the number of student organizations our college can sustain is not a decision that should be taken lightly or made without significant input from all organizations.

Not all the suggestions that came out of the brainstorming session would result in the loss of groups or clubs. Some of the suggestions included incorporating organizations with departments or combining similar organizations. While these ideas may not necessarily damage student organizations now, my concern is what happens to the mentality and culture surrounding student organizations when we limit and remove them from the student life division.

I understand the argument for limiting the number of student orgs. Overseeing the financial and managerial needs of 76 student organizations is a daunting task. I am also aware that the student life division is in significant transition while searching for a new vice president and looking to fill the position of coordinator of student organizations. This decision may have ramifications for years to come and should not be made hastily.

Setting a quota on the number of organizations is conveying to current and prospective students that there are some groups or interests that do not belong under the student life umbrella. This limits involvement, interest and creativity.

Student organizations form a crucial part of our lives as students. Removing them from student life’s responsibility or getting rid of them altogether communicates a message that these groups are not, in fact, part of our student life.

I implore the Calvin community to take this issue seriously, and I implore student leaders to actively participate in a conversation that affects far more than just their organization.