Print Edition: February 6, 2013
Ask anyone in the hallways “what’s going on tonight on campus?” and you’re most likely going to get a blank stare and a shoulder shrug.
But if you know who to ask and where to go, there are tons of things going on here at UFV.
Martin Kelly has worked at UFV for a little over six years, and is currently a programmer at Student Life. In those six years, he says the number of clubs and associations has grown from 15 to a little over 30. For a school of 17,000 full-time students, that’s still pretty low.
“Students just don’t know because there is no communication,” Kelly says. Students honestly do not know what is going on at UFV, because clubs and events are not advertised widely, if at all.
Kelly states that by about third year, students begin to get involved. That gives them a couple years to settle in, form a club and help it grow.
Unfortunately, in such a short time span they typically do not name a student to follow in their footsteps and keep the club running, and this leaves the club up in the air without a single person to structure it. Kelly says that there are 60 groups in writing at UFV, but only 30 of those groups are currently up and actively running. Many groups simply phase out, Kelly says, or the students running them “hit a wall and give up.”
Kelly explains the technicalities involved with running a group are quite time-consuming, but Student Life is open to supporting all sorts of groups. To become an official club on campus simply requires a one page document that requests 10 names of students who will be participating in the group. This insures that the university knows who and what is going on within their facilities.
Associations are slightly different. Instead of a simple document, associations are linked with university departments. They require a faculty member’s involvement and students involved with the department are typically members immediately.
Looking at the last couple years, Kelly finds the growth at UFV quite impressive, since a large association like BCSA can take up to three years to gain momentum. The main reason for associations and clubs falling apart, Kelly finds, is that students run into a lack of time or effort.
“Students really don’t know what they’re in for, the amount of work it takes to run meetings, hold elections and go to school,” he says.
In the near future, the management of clubs and associations will become part of SUS’s duties. Kelly is looking forward to this shift and has been promoting the shift for some time. His concern regarding the shift is communication. He does not want the current problems to transfer over, and in order to prevent that he says that he and SUS are hoping to sit down and rule out the problems that keep groups on campus from moving forward.
In the meantime, Kelly encourages any student with a passion or a curiosity to get involved on campus, or to start something new. The application for a new club or association can be downloaded from the SUS website, and Student Life reps in U-House are always willing to lend a helping hand.