If you only knock long enough and loud enough…

11 Jan

Well, I’m feeling a little discouraged today.

We’ve run into some difficulty with our SAF student chapter/campus club. The process of founding it seemed relatively straightforward (if heavy on the paperwork), but it has proven to be ridiculously difficult. Despite an awesome outpouring of support from the local and national SAF offices, we have found a disheartening lack of backing here on our own campus.

Most of the trouble stems from the Student Activities office. Like many other departments at our school, they seem terribly understaffed. Under these circumstances, it comes as no surprise that I’ve never had a call returned by them, or that it often takes weeks to get a response to an e-mail.

This wouldn’t matter to me, except that we’ve got a Bonafide Problem™!

Not a single one of our members or officers can attend the weekly Student Organizations Council meetings that are mandatory for all active clubs. Every last one of us is in Silviculture class through the whole thing.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, being designated an active group gives the club access to AV equipment and campus spaces, to funding for events, and many more things. Our chapter can still function without this funding, but we will have to raise every thin dime necessary to pay speakers, hold events, or do anything else. No small order with the crazy courseload (and jobs) most of us carry.

I asked what could be done and pitched a couple possible solutions, but no response. So this morning, Skyler and I walked over there to try and talk to someone. An odd interaction with an activities official followed, which leads me to believe that we are disliked simply because we haven’t stopped trying to make this club happen. Where I’m from, that is called perseverance, but it would seem that the Student Activities Office prefers that we fail if the alternative is answering questions or “dealing with” us. This is all very unfortunate, but as you may have guessed, we will not be giving up so easily.

Since our visit this morning, I’ve received a total non-response e-mail on the issue — basically a restatement that the meetings are mandatory as opposed to an answer to our questions on how to handle it, or even an answer about whether our ideas for solutions are permissible.

At this point, we’ve agreed that if asking for direction is this problematic, all that’s left is to move forward  until someone says otherwise. Our plan is to designate five SOC representatives to attend meetings instead of two — this way, we can take turns missing class to attend the meetings and no one gets behind in class or into too much trouble with our instructor.

It’s not ideal, but I don’t plan on throwing my hands up anytime soon. Keep your fingers crossed that this flies, and I’ll let you know how it all unfolds!

4 Responses to “If you only knock long enough and loud enough…”

  1. theevolutionofeating January 12, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    It’s a shame that even the slightest deviation from normal protocol cause an absolute meltdown in some people. It’d be a huge shame if this club didn’t work because not a single person on your campus was able to think outside of strict guidelines for a minute or two. At least one person ought to be able to sign off on this, right?

    • xylem_up January 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      I hope so, but I think the same person who sent us the non-reply is the one who’d be doing the signing off! :\ Maybe if we just take initiative so that she doesn’t have to address things, all will go well…?

  2. Dori January 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I hope your five-way rotation works and perhaps the instructor will be understanding about the periodic absences.

    • xylem_up January 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      She wants us to find someone on a different schedule, recruit him/her, and make that person go to the meetings, mostly because our midterm in that class will be on a Monday.

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