Club policies changed, requirements added

By Marvin Montesinos

Staff Writer

New policies that changed the way Brookhaven College clubs operate were enacted at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. The new policies are required for all clubs every semester in order to maintain their status as an organization recognized by Brookhaven.

The policies, which were created by Rebekah Benavides, Office of Student Life program coordinator, require clubs to fulfill 20 hours of community service every semester, as well as the attendance by at least one club officer at the Club Leadership Council meetings.

The Club Leadership Council was devised as a way for club officers to meet, share concerns and discuss strategies for successful club meetings, Benavides said. The council also serves as a way to foster communication between organizations and the student body.

While the council requires one officer to attend in order to fulfill the requirement, the service requirement can take less time through the cooperation of several club members.

Organizations benefit from having multiple members work together to complete community service as each students’ hours are added together toward the semester 20-hour total, Benavides said. This allows for more work to be done, and more members to become involved in their own organizations, as well as other organizations already serving the community.

Another focus of the policies is operating procedure for all organizations. Clubs are now required to provide documentation for everything from club trips to fundraisers.

The Student Government Association has participated in many projects over the course of the school year throughout the community. During fall 2014, the SGA worked to raise voter awareness during its voter registration drive, organized the school’s Halloween party and gathered gifts for the Genesis Women’s Shelter Angel Tree program to help families around D-FW.

SGA President Jordan Cisneros said, “The direction that we’ve been given by Rebekah is one where we’re more unified and we’re more on the same page and more inclined to be active.”

In the past, well-organized clubs have prospered while the remainder struggled, Cisneros said. He said he feels the new policies help the clubs focus. “I think it’s a good thing,” Cisneros said. “Sometimes we need that little extra push, but there are some clubs out there that don’t need that direction and the new policies are going to be more of a hindrance than a benefit, so it has its pros and cons.”

Newer Brookhaven clubs have started doing their part in the community. Brookhaven’s IGNITE, founded last semester, has worked to foster political ambition in women, with events such as the Brookhaven Votes campaign.

The campaign helped students register to vote and provided voters with transportation to local polling places. The club also volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank.

“Compared to other clubs, we haven’t noticed a huge difference,” Sandy Gonzalez, president of IGNITE said. “The policies started when we started.” Gonzalez has acted as the club’s representative at Club Leadership Council meetings, which she said were helpful for her organization.

“We got to connect with the other clubs, and so IGNITE got to share some of the events that we were hosting with the other clubs to get volunteers there and then vice versa,” Gonzalez said. “We got to meet each other, so that was fun, and the meetings were really informative.”

IGNITE was founded after the new policies were enacted, but Gonzalez said the changes will benefit students in the future.

“I don’t think it would affect the clubs in a negative way, for example, the [policy] that requires at least 20 hours of community service,” Gonzales said. “I think that’s really good because it makes the club seem more involved. I think that will only benefit the students and the organizations to get their name out there.”

Because the policies have been in effect for one semester, the affect on Brookhaven clubs has yet to be seen. Andrew Deibert, the Rotoract Club’s adviser, said total service hours for the Rotoract Club will be determined at the end of the 2014-2015 school year after all community service hours have been added up.

Deibert said, “It mostly comes down to student leadership,” as the long-term success of these policies is entirely dependent on the students’ drive and focus.

Any questions regarding club policies or the creation of a school organization can be brought to the Office of Student Life in S Building Room S201.