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Two new clubs aim for official status

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09

Though there have been no new clubs approved by the United Student Government (USG) so far this semester, two clubs expressed interest in gaining recognized status.

The Point Park Students for Justice in Palestine club and Table Top Tirade club are the two organizations that have inquired about earning recognition from the USG during the spring semester. According to USG Parliamentarian Scott Sudzina, this low turnout is fairly common during the second semester.

“All year long we have clubs come in and out asking for recognition,” said Sudzina during a Monday afternoon interview on the University Student and Convocation Center. “Usually earlier in the year we have a bigger influx because they want to start the first semester as opposed to the second.”

There are 40 recognized clubs and organizations currently at Point Park that fall under five categories: academic, governing board, interest based, services organizations and university sponsored student media. These two clubs would fall under the “interest based” section.

There are several benefits to becoming a USG approved club, most notably the allocation of funds.

“Obviously the big benefit is funding, and that’s the big reason why [clubs go to USG],” Sudzina said. “Otherwise, you’re in association with USG, which could help out your organization. Make it more official on campus.”

The Students for Justice in Palestine club, established a few years ago, has been promoted through Facebook since September 2011. Their mission is to educate the Point Park student body on issues concerning Palestine and to advocate peace.

The Table Top Tirade club was started during the fall semester of 2012. In this club, its participants, self-referred to as “geeks,” play card and board games, according to their Facebook page, “build an environment where ‘weird’ hobbies are considered the norm and ‘nerdy obsessions’ are considered to be actually quite awesome.”

After a semester of being an independent club, the signed-on potential chief officer, senior broadcasting major Nate Zerambo, felt that it was time to let the club grow through USG.

“I kind of wanted to see something like this on campus,” said Zerambo during a Monday afternoon phone interview. “Instead of just friends meeting, we wanted it to be a campus activity.”

To become a USG recognized club, an interested party must fill-out an ARS 100 application form and speak to Sandy Orlando, the coordinator for student activities. Clubs must also appoint a student chief officer and a faculty advisor in addition to writing out a club constitution, a task that the USG body is available to help with if needed. Almost all of the clubs who complete and abide by these guidelines earn USG approval.

“Unless they don’t abide by university policy and USG policy…there are very few things that you can have that go against that,” said Sudzina. “You’d have to really be discriminating or not allowing certain students to join your group.”

According to USG President Dillon Kunkle, new clubs are vital to the university in order to promote the university experience.

“We get new [clubs], so inherently old ones are going away,” said Kunkle during a Monday night phone interview. “It is an essential part of the university experience.”

Though the Students for Justice in Palestine club has yet to turn in the necessary paperwork to be considered, Table Top Tirade finished and turned in its application and constitution. The decision will take place over the upcoming weeks.

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