The constitution requires the judiciary council to evaluate student organizations at least once a year. During these evaluations, student organizations are asked to submit statements regarding their purpose and to confirm that all their activities are student or campus oriented. In addition, all clubs must submit a statement of non-discrimination before recognition can be granted.
“All the clubs are going to go through review this semester just to check their status because we are switching over to a new government,” said Judiciary Chair Jun Matsui ’03. “It’s pretty much the same thing as before except that now it’s just been standardized so that everyone has to go through it.”
Although the reviews will not be completed for at least another two weeks, several organizations have already been de-recognized or placed on probation.
“There’s no such classification as probation in the constitution, but the judiciary council has the power to review organizations either semester,” said Vivek Lakhi ’05, who is a judiciary committee member. “By placing organizations under probation, we are saying that there is a flaw and that [they] need to fix this.”
“[Clubs that are placed under probation] are fulfilling a unique role but not doing enough work � [They are] being apathetic in their role of trying to reach out to the community,” said judicial council member Shaun Filiault ’04.
Among the organizations placed under probation was the 10-member volleyball club, which was asked to come back for review next semester after increasing their publicity and membership.
Youth Rap, a community service group with six members was de-recognized. “This group is especially small. We asked about expanding their membership, but they said that they can’t. They don’t publicize and they are too comfortable in their place,” said Filiault after being questioned by Ali Hassan ’05 about why Youth Rap was not placed on probation. “They need to make more of an effort to let themselves be known. We feel that it would be more beneficial for this group to perhaps go through the outreach office.”
The senate went on to approve the budgetary committee’s most recent recommendations for budget allocations, including $3,500 from the discretionary funds to pay for a replacement sailboat, $75 from programming funds to the Amherst College Democrats for an election night event and $800 from programming funds to PISEAS to help fund an on-campus conference where representatives from the top 20 schools in the U.S. would meet to try to raise the numbers of Southeast Asian high school students applying and attending top schools.
“It is quite frequent [that] when you look at liberal arts schools like Amherst, you don’t find Southeast Asian students,” said PISEAS Chair May Nguyen ’04. “We provide resources within the schools that prospective students can contact � Most [Southeast Asian students] don’t even know about Amherst.”
Other issues addressed at the meeting included nominations and elections of senators for empty committee positions, including the space allocation committee and the library committee.
The senate also approved the creation of a diversity seat to represent the Asian student community, followed by a discussion to extend the meeting in order to address new business including the senior class project taking place this week, which the senate approved.
Several senators expressed concerns regarding the amount of time allocated to the items on the weekly AAS agendas. “We spend so much time at this meeting discussing things that don’t need to be discussed,” said Mike Flood ’03. “The senate needs to be held accountable for using so much time on the silly little things. We’ll continue doing this until it’s called to question.”