Despite recent, unsuccessful attempts at a second semester student-run activities fair, this year’s Spring Involvement Fair in the Rat was filled with both organizations and students last Thursday. This second activities fair gave freshmen, transfer students, and international students an opportunity to preview the variety of student organizations Boston College has to offer in a short amount of time. To help students who might feel as if they missed their chance to get involved after the first Student Involvement Fair passed in September, the second fair provided another open invitation to join an organization. This opportunity is especially important for freshmen, as they are more likely to have adjusted to college life in January, as opposed to the beginning of September when committing to a club might have seemed overwhelming after only having been on campus for a week.
In addition, the student organizations division under the new structure of UGBC has expedited the process for student groups to become a registered student organization (RSO), encouraging more students to start their own RSOs. Instead of the Student Programs Office’s (SPO) running the approval process unilaterally, the student organization division now acts as a student mediator between the applicants and SPO.
The student organizations division now accepts submissions on a rolling basis, approving organizations in as little as three weeks, whereas before this academic year, students were required to wait until April 1 to submit applications for new RSOs, and their applications would often not be approved until the summer months. This process made it very difficult for students starting clubs to plan for the year ahead, as they had very little time between notification of their club’s approval and the beginning of the school year. The new process encourages more students to apply and allows for students to put their ideas into action within the same academic year-a crucial development, as students are only on campus for four years and need time to establish the club’s credibility and train solid leadership to keep the club running in the future.
The new student organizations division also helps applicants during the submission process by reviewing applications and providing constructive feedback to those applicants who have a feasible idea but need to further develop their prospective organization’s mission. The division often sends applications back to students with the possibility of approving them later. Before the submissions could be accepted on a rolling basis, a rejected application would have to wait until the next year to be re-submitted.
The division has further changed the process so the applicants’ required interview with the division is conducted before they must turn in their prospective organization’s constitution so as to guide applicants in the right direction when writing a constitution. This slight change has expedited the approval process even more, as fewer constitutions are sent back to applicants to be rewritten. The interview also allows applicants to ask any other questions they may have about the approval process, better preparing them for the next steps. The division has restructured the application process to resemble a mentor-mentee relationship between UGBC and the applicants, which provides a more welcoming environment for those wishing to create an RSO.