Clubs will need more members than in previous years
By Jake Wray, News Editor
The DSU overhauled its policies governing student clubs this summer, including a change to club membership requirements that could lead to clubs stepping up their recruitment efforts at Club Days events this fall.
The old membership requirement for clubs was six members, according to Aran Armutlu, director of finance for the DSU, but now clubs need to maintain 15 or 30 members depending on the type of club. Armutlu said the requirements were updated after the DSU received feedback from students during the club policy overhaul process.
“Some people would say ‘Oh, [the membership requirement] is kind of small. Having it increased would create investment by students, so there is more value that can be tied into the clubs,’” Armutlu said in an interview with the Other Press.
Club Days, which provide an opportunity for clubs to set up information booths in common areas at both Douglas College campuses, will be held at the Coquitlam campus on September 19 and the New Westminster campus on September 21.
Armutlu said Clubs Day is usually one of the “busiest days on campus,” with club tables lining the concourse at the New Westminster campus and the atrium at the Coquitlam campus.
“Clubs will have interactive things going on. People can come up to the tables and play games, or they can come and do things to interact with whatever the service or the interest is of that club,” he said.
The DSU also made changes to their club finance policies, according to Armutlu. He said clubs used to receive a fixed amount of $200 per semester. That fixed amount has been lowered to $100 per semester, but clubs can also submit a budget to the DSU and apply for additional funding based on their predicted costs for the semester.
“They’re filling out the budget form, anticipating what their costs are going to be that year, and then they put in the budget request and then we decide how much of that funding we’re going to give. So this gives much more freedom to the clubs, and flexibility to the clubs,” Armutlu said. “Instead of having [only] this small fixed budget, now what they have is the ability to create their budgets.”
Armutlu said budget requests will be reviewed by himself, DSU staff members, DSU committees, and finally the entire DSU board of directors to ensure that the money is handed out fairly.
“There won’t be any favouritism that could be tied in because my job as the director of finance, and under my portfolio of clubs, is to make sure that everybody is being treated fairly,” he said. “[Budget applications] get pushed up and followed all the way to the top where you have the board of directors, who are ensuring that every student at Douglas is being treated fairly and getting the best advantages they can get from the student union.”
Joining a club can significantly enrich a student’s experience at college, according to Armutlu, who said he hopes lots of students join clubs at Douglas College this year.
“I think that clubs are a great way for students to get that first-level engagement on campus, because you’re really just going in and finding that thing you share as an interest with someone, and that’s how all sort of connections are made,” he said. “Getting involved on campus has obviously countless numbers of benefits, and the more that people invest into their time at Douglas … it just makes their time here much more enjoyable.”