Clubs should not receive special treatment


Clubs and organizations are an integral part of any college campus.  Guilford has over 50 clubs on campus spanning a wide variety of interests, from rugby to forensic biology.

There is a code of conduct for campus clubs and organizations so that they are held accountable for their actions, and if those rules are not followed there are supposed to be consequences sanctioned on the club for their transgressions.

One club on campus that has been granted exceptions to the club guidelines, is the Campus Activities Board, or CAB. They run a variety of events on campus, including annually hosting Serendipity.

However CAB had broken the codes of conduct and acted in ways that are beneficial for the club instead of the community as a whole.

The proposed budget for CAB for the 2017 year, according to the budgets presented annually at the Dick Dyer Awards, was $90,000.  The next highest club budget was proposed at $9,000.

For clubs to retain their full budget, one requirement is to send a representative to monthly Inter Club Council meetings.  Last year there were multiple times when CAB did not send a representative to those meetings.  If a club fails to have a representative at those meetings club guidelines state that a portion of their budget should be frozen until the club shows they can follow the protocol necessary to have a budget.

CAB never had any of their budget frozen, despite failing to send a representative on multiple occasions.

Gillian Sherman, a CAB executive from 2016-2017, said about CAB’s lack of ICC attendance: “The rules are flexible since [CAB] work[s] so closely with the [Student Organizational Commons].”

The flexibility CAB has been granted by Senate, who is in charge of budget allocation, due to their close relations with the SOC.  There is no section in the Club Handbook that mentions exemptions for any club about following mandatory rules.

Every club needs a treasurer who is not supposed to run any event that involves money, so than an unbiased person is making monetary decisions and funds aren’t spent recklessly.

CAB did not have a treasurer last year and all of their executives handled the money in the hosting of their events.  In order to keep themselves in check every club, including CAB, should have one designated person who is unbiased in spending to keep them in check.

CAB events, last year in particular, did not have expenses that matched with the attendance of the events.  Prior to winter break, CAB hosted two events on the same day, the Wild World of Wellness and a showing of the movie Elf. The events, which combined cost at least $500, had professional massages, food and prizes which included a new XBox and tablet.
Cristina Guttersen, who graduated in 2017, attended the event.

“There were about 20 people when they gave out the Xbox and only like 12 when they gave away the tablet,” Guttersen said.

There was no need for CAB to run such a large event for such a small group.

I acknowledge that CAB does do good things for this campus.  Over the past year the attendance at their events has steadily risen, and they sometimes help smaller clubs run events when the club doesn’t have the budget.

Despite CAB’s beneficial actions, no club should receive special treatment.  All clubs on campus should be held to the same standard and should be held accountable for their actions. Exemptions and special treatment aren’t in line with Guilford’s standards and values.

We as a community should work to ensure that clubs are not being given exemptions to requirements.  These may be small exemptions that have been given, but giving those exemptions sets the precedent that clubs can ignore rules and not be held accountable.