By Melissa Prentice
Arizona Daily Wildcat
No great philosopher has probably ever asked if a club really is a club if they haven't been officially recognized by the Department of Student Programs.
Still, more than 250 clubs undergo the process each year.
Non-recognized clubs do exist at the University of Arizona, but they will encounter difficulty trying to use campus services and will not be eligible to receive club funding from the Associated Students, said Sarah Barton, who is in charge of club recognition in the Department of Student Programs.
"The Student Union room scheduling and other services like the Garage and (Student Union) Catering will be stricter this year about only letting recognized clubs use the services," Barton said.
Last year, about 270 clubs were officially recognized by the department, and even more clubs are expected to go through the process this year because of stricter enforcement and graduate student clubs and residence hall governments are being targeted more this year than in the past, she said.
"It's a little confusing since what we do here is called club recognition and what ASUA does for clubs who apply for funding is also called club recognition," Barton said. "It gets confusing about where different forms need to be turned in at."
The department requires clubs to turn in a constitution which includes a not-for-profit stipulation and a non-discrimination policy as well a risk liability form signed by 50 percent of the club's members, a statement of the club's purpose and general information about the club and officers. Someone is also required to agree to be financially responsible if the club does not pay its bills.
ASUA also asks clubs to submit an officer list, an information sheet which includes the club's purpose, goals and a detailed budget and an agreement not to misuse club funds.
"We want the clubs to know their budgets and justify to us why we should give them money," said Josh Becker, ASUA Vice Presi dent of Programs and Services. "We want to help the club plan out their goals so we know we aren't funding events that don't fit with the clubs' missions."
Becker and club advocates are calling club representatives who attended the Club Assembly on Sept. 8 but did not turn in funding paperwork by Friday's deadline or who turned in incomplete information. The deadline can be extended for clubs who have extenuating circumstances, he said.
Barton said although there is no deadline for club recognition in the Department of Student Programs, she also suggests clubs should fill out the recognition paperwork as soon as possible. "The earlier clubs turn everything in, the sooner they will be finished and won't have to worry about it when they want to use the (campus) services."
Clubs can apply for ASUA club funding before being officially recognized by the Department of Student Programs, but cannot spend the money until the process is completed, Barton said.
Last year, about 205 clubs received initial funding from ASUA and the average allocation was $112, Becker said. Funding is divided into Fast Copy, advertising, the ASUA Bookstore and postage.
Clubs who met Friday's deadline will now be interviewed by Appropriations Board members and members of the Central Coordinating Council Sept. 26-29, Becker said. The clubs' allocations will be posted after the interviews are completed.
Clubs can also ask the Appropriations Board, which meets every Monday, to fund special events, including the cost of bringing a speaker to campus or attending a conference, Becker said. Most special requests are funded, he said, but usually not in full.
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