By Nathaniel Fryer
Two new clubs are applying for Student Congress recognition. The new clubs are the Alma College PreVet Association and the Alma College Progressive Democrats.
Last semester, Student Congress voted and approved five new clubs, including Short Stack, Alma College Gaming Guild, National Students Nursing Association and the Board Games Club.
The Alma College Progressive Democrats was founded by Sam Nelson (’21), and a number of other progressive students, in order to get out the vote for the Michigan State Elections occurring in November of this year.
Nelson says he, “hopes to support progressive causes in whatever capacity possible. A liberal arts campus like ours values action, and we hope to be a part of that.”
If approved, the Alma College Progressive Democrats will be the eleventh chapter of the Michigan Federation of College Democrats, a statewide organization of liberal minded college students dedicated to progressive ideals like a single-payer healthcare, combatting climate change and promoting equal rights for all US Citizens.
Lauren Kucharczyk (’19), is founding member of the Alma College PreVet Association. She believes that the association will “give other PreVet or Pre-health majors a group for resources since the school does not have official programs for these things.”
The organization will provide students a skill based approach to achieving the mandatory 400 clinical hours required before veterinary school, by working with local veterinary clinics around Alma.
Kucharczyk also stated that the process for becoming a recognized club was fairly easy, but you have to know where to look in the Student Congress Constitution, or potential campus organizations will be left in the dark.
According to Student Congress Treasurer, Deve Wishart (’18), clubs are essential to Alma’s campus life because they work with the Alma community in providing philanthropy, and have an intrinsic educational value for students.
“I do think that clubs are beneficial for the Alma community. Clubs may make our lives more hectic, but it allows us to apply ourselves to things that we believe are worthwhile,” stated Wishart.
In order to apply to become a recognized club, the members must meet, formalize a constitution, and then send that proposed constitution into the Constitutional Committee. The Constitutional Committee then discusses the proposed constitution of a club, and votes on approving it.
If the proposed constitution is approved, then those club representatives are invited to attend the next session of Student Congress. At that session, the club is then brought up and voted upon by Student Congress. If the vote passes, then the organization is officially recognized as a campus club, and given representation in Student Congress.
Once a club is approved by Student Congress, they do not have a budget until the next school year, which is why so many organizations apply for contingency funds. Wishart works with club executives in order to ensure that each club is being held accountable for the financing that is appropriated to it.
Wishart has also worked with college officials like Cassie Tennant, Director of Financial Services, to audit clubs and make sure that finances are being spent appropriately.