Here are the questions and answers from the SGA Election Forum held on February 21. Audience questions are not included. Questions were prepared by Darvence Chery, except for the second question asked to Priscilla A. Brinson Thompson which was prepared by Adele Duval.
Garrett Edinger, Director of Operations and Organizations candidate
Question 1: How much of a difference do you think clubs make on student engagement, as far as students attending events on campus? Why is that?
That’s an interesting question. I think, as far as clubs are concerned, they certainly make a difference for people attending their own events at least; I think it sort of depends on the club. You might expect that the honors society would generate more people for honors events, so I think that would obviously just depend on the club, but I think clubs serve an important role on campus in terms of getting people who find themselves in a specific situation; if you’re a science major, or if you’re a history student, if you’re an honors student, whatever, if you’re an international student, something like that, so I think clubs are kind of a good way to get specific groups of people involved.
Question 2: What is an idea for a club that you would like to see started on campus, and how would it serve the ENC community?
Response 2: I think this question is very relevant to my position, of course, because the director of operations and organizations is the person who’s in charge of keeping track of all the clubs on campus. I think there are a lot of good ideas that people have for clubs right now. I think, especially given events that happened last semester, some people have talked about starting an LGBTQ club, so I think that would be very cool to see that happen as well. I think as far as clubs are concerned I would also like to see clubs collaborating more a little bit on events. Right now most clubs kind of have to do all their events alone, but I think it would be good if they could sort of do some events together that would allow them to pool resources and maybe sort of get a little bit more attention for that as well.
Priscilla A. Brinson Thompson, Director of Operations and Organizations candidate
Question 1: What is your view of club activity on campus? Are there too many clubs, not enough clubs? And what would you like to see more or less of?
I love that question. I think that we have a good amount of clubs; a good amount of registered clubs. I don’t know how active each of those clubs are; we do have a few clubs that are more active than others, so overall campus involvement in clubs, even if we only did have five solid clubs, but if people were actively engaged in those clubs then that’s awesome. If we had twenty-five and people were actively engaged in those clubs then that’s awesome. I think time-wise, a lot of students, you know, it’s hard to manage class, work, clubs, sports, just really, no matter how many clubs that is, just being able to find that time to rest in it. It’s super important. It’s about building relationships. That’s a big part of what college is. You get a roommate. You live with people you don’t know, you’re building relationships, you’re learning how to coexist. So just having however many clubs it would take, but just having that solid, solid foundation of actual participation, people being excited about it, people being more aware of the events so we have time to plan if we need to. See I don’t think there’s a limit on how many there should be; I don’t think there’s really too many. It’s just a matter of being able to have them and have them be solid.
Question 2: You mentioned the idea of clubs on campus being inactive. What is something that you could anticipate taking on in your role as monitoring the clubs that are inactive and then figuring out a way to maybe get them to be more active or incentivize that process of not just starting a club to start a club and having it dissipate within that same year?
Well, you know, we do have, I don’t know if everyone knows this, but through the portal, we have a clubs and organizations page, so I would love to kind of boost that page because I’ve noticed no one really goes on it; and it’s a spot where you can see what the clubs are doing up and coming, what they’ve done in the past you know, you can follow them almost like a social media type thing, so I would love to build that site back up. Again it really does come down to being able to have the interest. There might be we have all these clubs, but maybe they’re clubs that people really aren’t invested in; you have to have clubs that you want to participate in, that you want to see grow, and they have to be doing things that you want to be doing.
If we have certain clubs put on events every year but maybe no one’s interested in that anymore, but we just sit through the same ones because they’re the ones that we do and this is the time of year that we do them, mix that up a little bit, you know, take a poll, see what kinds of things students on campus actually wanna be participating in. What types of clubs would you guys like to see on the campus? What are clubs that will make you wanna be involved? Because if you don’t want to be involved, you’re not gonna be involved and, unfortunately, I mean you see it a little bit but, you know, you have to want to do what you’re doing. And that makes it enjoyable, that makes it fun, you want to come back, you’re gonna tell your friends “oh come to this organization, come to this club meeting cause we’re doing this and that.” So just really finding where the involvement is, where the interest is to bring the involvement and they come hand-in-hand.