Student organizations can be a bellweather for the enthusiasm of a campus and its students, especially for rural colleges like Middlebury. Student clubs can really turn into the non-academic life of the school especially for all those high school resume-padders who are still in the habit of joining clubs. I find this to be the case with Middlebury’s 150+ student organizations and all their members.
Today, I attended the mandatory Center for Campus Activities and Leadership (CCAL) organization leader meeting. There were in fact several different versions of the same meeting, this one particularly tailored to visual and performing arts groups on campus. The meeting was an informative one as to the ins and outs of working with the CCAL office or basically the administration of the school.
I walked away in awe of the sheer bureaucracy of running a student organization. Each leader received a 74 page book outlining the rules and procedures for everything from renting a college van to doing a fundraising bake sale. As a supplement, a 14 page packet on financing was dropped on us as well. While admire the planning it takes to publish such materials, most of the materials will never get read mostly because each student organization wants individual answers to their own special needs. On top of that, the procedures outlined in the reading material are so complicated that most student organizations don’t bother dealing with them anyway. For instance, acappella groups on campus are famously known for running outside bank accounts, out of the reach of the administration, mostly because if the group wanted to take money out of their account, they’d be five hundred hoops to jump through and fifty receipts to show to five people for approval. If you ask me, I think the CCAL office is wonderful at what they do but they really need to cut down on their red tape.
Perhaps a little taste of “real” business world?