With the arrival of Spring Fling, April is the month when many of Temple University’s 138 student organizations become visible to the campus community.
Running a student organization, however, may not be as fun – or as easy – as it looks.
Some organizations registered with the Office of Student Activities (OSA) have voiced concerns regarding the way the office conducts business, as well as the meetings scheduled with Arnold Boyd, who is in charge of registering the organizations.
On the flip side, it seems many student organizations have also suffered due to poor planning and misconceptions about Boyd and the process of registering as a student organization.
Vila Lor, the president of Organization of World League Soccer, is one of the students who has had trouble contacting Boyd.
“Meetings were always delayed, and I had to skip classes to meet with him. I wish I didn’t have to remember him in that way,” Lor said.
Lor is not the only student who had trouble getting in contact with Boyd and setting up meetings with him.
Nik Varrone, the president of Open Source, an organization started last spring, said that it took “more than a month of calling him numerous times. I thought I would get e-mails, but I didn’t get anything.”
On the issue of rescheduling appointments, Boyd said: “I never moved an appointment more than once”
Another concern regarded the funding for student organizations.
Some students said they never received funding after requesting it, and some students said they weren’t even sure how to go about receiving funding.
“We didn’t get funding because the meetings [to apply for funds] were postponed, so we missed the deadlines. The money came out of our pockets,” said Anthony Woods, casting director of LMS Production, which seeks to bring the theaters arts to the community.
What these organizations did not know is that Boyd is not responsible for allocating funds.
“The funding allocations is not handled by this office, it’s handled through Temple Student Government.
I have no jurisdiction of funding,” Boyd said.
“Students come to me for advice on how to apply for funding, help structure proposals, and for deadlines.”
Despite some negative assessments, there have also been positive comments about Boyd and OSA.Madhavan Nair, a member of Temple’s Krishna Bhakti Club, said OSA has been doing a good job in getting the club locations for its events.
Nair said that, for their last event, they “had a two day return with a location.”
Averia Gasking, the social organizer for Campus Crusade for Christ, said her organization had problems reserving rooms, but did not place blame on Boyd’s shoulders.
“He’s one man trying to deal with a million clubs. No one reads the application and rules,” Gaskin said.
In response to some groups’ complaints of being unable to secure a room for their events, Boyd suggested that groups should plan ahead and request a room far in advance due to significant waiting periods required to reserve some spaces on campus.
“Groups come here two to three days before the meeting or event to request a room,” Boyd said.
Some of the concerns, which Boyd is open to hear from the individual organizations, deal with getting organizations registered with OSA.
According to Boyd, an initial application for registration must be picked up in his office to start a club.
After filling out the application, writing a constitution and getting a list of members, a meeting is scheduled.
Four members of the proposed organization schedule an appointment with Boyd to discuss rules, how to apply for money, how to obtain office space and how to promote the organization and the events it sponsors.
After the first meeting with Boyd, another meeting is normally scheduled to go over revisions to the constitution that Boyd recommended.
After a four- to five-day waiting period, the organization is registered and assigned a mailbox in “The Village,” located on the second floor of the Student Center.
OSA can provide the organizations with office space (cubicles or locked offices), promotional services, graphics media, equipment, program planning and leadership programs.
According to Boyd, there are still student organizations not registered with the office that could bring the campus total to 300.
Boyd estimated that 50 to 100 organizations are registered under departments and not with his office.
“We would like to see them register under the umbrella of campus wide. Some choose to stay under the department, but we welcome them,” Boyd said.
Nnenna Okoro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steps to starting a club
Pick up an application from Arnold Boyd.
Write a constitution and compile a list of group members interested in participating in the organization.
Schedule an initial meeting with Arnold Boyd, which must be attended by four potential members.
Secondary meeting will be scheduled to revise the constitution.
After a waiting period of four to five days, the organization receives official registration and is assigned a mailbox in the Student Center.
The organization is provided office space, promotional services, graphics media, equipment, program planning and leadership program.