By Joseph Altman Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Similarities in club recognition processes between student government and the Department of Student Programs are causing confusion for clubs seeking funding from ASUA.
Out of 115 clubs that requested initial funding for the fall semester, 42 clubs have not been officially recognized by Student Programs and will not be eligible to receive any funds until they are.
Ann Parker, assistant director of the Department of Student Programs, said many clubs do not realize that they must go through both Associated Students and Student Programs recognition processes; therefore, they only do one as a result.
She said that while ASUA's process is a registration process to apply for funding, the Student
Programs recognition process recognizes the organization as an official part of the university.
"It wasn't made clear to people that there were two different recognition processes. They just figured, 'well, I did a recognition so now I can spend my money,'" Parker said. "You've got to go through two processes, unfortunately."
This limitation was not clear to some of the clubs that applied for funding, Parker said.
"You think you're recognized because you turn in recognition stuff, and it's hard to understand since there are two processes," Parker said.
Meg Sewell, president of the Family Studies Student Roundtable, said she was unaware of the need to become recognized through student programs until she received a call from ASUA recently.
Hunny Adams, president of Phi Eta Sigma Honorary, also said she experienced a little confusion with the recognition processes.
"A club advocate said everything was OK," Adams said, but the Department of Student Programs later told her that additional forms were necessary.
Even though some clubs claim to be unaware of the recognition process, ASUA Club Advocate Whitney Bourne said that the system really is not confusing at all.
"It (the process) helps make sure everything is valid. It's a little extra work, but it's efficient," Bourne said. "We explain it very well. Maybe if they were late (getting their club started) they would kind of get overwhelmed, but it shouldn't be a problem."
Bourne added that ASUA is calling all clubs that have not been recognized to inform them they need to do so before they can receive their funds.
ASUA Club Advocate Christine Thompson said part of the problem is that many people left halfway through the club assembly in September, where all of the funding and recognition processes were explained.
Parker has met with Josh Becker, ASUA vice president for clubs and organizations, to discuss changing the situation next year to eliminate the confusion.
Becker said there are plans to consolidate some things to make the process less confusing, including changing some of the terminology, possibly calling ASUA's process "registration" rather than "recognition."
Parker agreed the simple solution would be a name change.
Thompson said these changes may lead to club recognition totally switching to the jurisdiction of ASUA over the next few years. She said this is part of a plan to slowly switch the entire recognition process over to ASUA.
As long as the process continues to befuddle some clubs, Thompson encourages anyone with questions about recognition or funding to talk to any of the three club advocates who can answer their questions.
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