by LIZZIE DEAL
A Student Senate task force is currently investigating different ways to reinvent the process by which organizations apply to become RSOs, or registered student organizations, on campus.
The Student Senate decided to start coming up with ideas to reform and streamline the process after Turning Point USA was denied status as a registered student organization in November.
“There’s definitely been some areas for improvement that I’ve noticed, in full transparency, after there was come turmoil from the Turning Point USA denial,” Student Body President Nick Johnston said. “There was some additional pressure put on us from the administration to revisit this process and I welcomed it. I think there are some constructive things we can do better about our process.”
The goal of the taskforce, according to Organizational Affairs Senator Ian Klein, is to better communicate with the student body and share ideas on different ways the RSO process could be revised.
The current system for registering organizations requires that prospective organizations meet with the Organizational Affairs Senator after doing some preliminary paperwork. They are also required to meet a few key qualifications, such as having five plus members, a president, treasurer, and a written constitution. From there, the organization goes to the Student Senate to gain either a final vote of approval or denial.
Klein, whose position has made him responsible for assisting potential organizations with the RSO process for the past two years, has been sharing the knowledge and experience he’s gained on the job with the task force.
“I hope that the RSO process can be more clearly defined so as to better assist student groups in understanding what is required of them in the RSO process,” Klein said over email. “Second, it is a hope of mine that any revised structure from the task force can provide long-term stability for the RSO process.”
The task force is made up of students, faculty, and staff, who have met to discuss the history of the RSO process as well as potential ideas to improve the system. The members also have varying degrees of knowledge regarding the current RSO process to give the task force different perspectives on the current system and diversify the ideas presented.
“We intentionally picked some people who aren’t really familiar with the process to get an outside perspective,” Johnston said. “These first few meetings have been like ‘here’s what the process currently looks like, here’s the history, here’s what peer institutions do.’ This week we’re going to talk more about proposals.”
The task force currently hasn’t made any decisions regarding the RSO system as they are still in the early stages of discussion. Once they do reach a conclusion, the Student Senate will have the final say on whether or not it is implemented and what changes will be made.
“Whatever the task force decides, that will go to the Student Senate and that will be public record, whatever the suggestion is,” Johnston said. “Hopefully they’ll come up with a recommendation, and then the Student Senate can approve it.”