Board to investigate campus clubs

At the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union board of directors meeting last Friday, a motion was proposed for a board direct inspection (BDI) regarding campus clubs.

At first the motion was voted down for being too general; and instead, a more specific line of inspection was developed.

“Initially we motioned for a board direct inspection but because it was so general and vague … in that kind of wording it allowed for ambiguity in inspecting the entire office of campus clubs … there was just so much in that scope that we wanted to make it more specific,” said director Michael Onabolu, who put forth the motion that was passed.

Chair of the board Saad Aslam explained that after voting down the initial motion they decided to instead request only two specific documents.

“One was the outline for the budgeting for campus clubs, and then the policies that [management] are currently working on,” said Aslam.

In terms of the budgeting and the finance document the board is asking for, they are interested in determining how management allocates money to different clubs and whether it is through their own discretion or by predetermined benchmarks.

“The trouble came out when management saw it as it would be a bad answer to say that it was discretion, which it totally isn’t because these people have been trained to do this stuff and they have experienced what campus clubs is,” said Onabolu.

He also explained that the second document the board was concerned with was related to a new campus clubs policy. This will cover issues such as what campus clubs can do, what constitutes being a club and what they can expect in terms of finances. This will make it easier for students to know how to organize and form their own club.

Aslam explained that the document management is currently working on an act for the future as a campus clubs manual.

“The board was just asking, at the previous meeting, for more information on how the campus clubs program and department works and operates,” said assistant vice-president of campus clubs Lawrence Maclin.

“I know a lot of people have a lot of questions about it because it involves so many students. They were simply just looking for further clarification on the process in which we approve clubs and work with our budget and our financial process.”

The issue was initially raised when director Stephanie Francis brought forward concerns students expressed to her about how campus clubs operates.

Onabolu explained that the inspection will provide documents to help board members understand the functioning of campus clubs so that the information can then be passed on to students who have these questions.

“[WLUSU has] been working and developing a formalized policy for the campus clubs department as a whole so that all clubs have the opportunity to visibly see what requirements exist, as well as what resources are available for their benefit,” said Maclin.

Aslam expects that the documents will likely be prepared for the next board of directors meeting, which will take place on Feb. 12.