Member involvement key to student organizations’ vitality, active status

With more than 140 student organizations on campus to choose from, Butler University students may find a club they are involved in declared inactive at some point during their Butler careers.

Julie Pakenham, associate director of the PuLSE Office, said the most common reason that clubs are declared inactive by the PuLSE Office is because of the group’s failure to fill out the paperwork.

“It’s really not very difficult to become recognized (by PuLSE as a club),” Pakenham said. “It’s a matter of students taking responsibility, which they should do if they care about their club anyway.”

Pakenham said that to be recognized as a student organization at Butler, a group of four members must present a constitution, obtain a faculty adviser and fill out the necessary paperwork with the PuLSE Office.

Pakenham said she recognized that having key members of a club study abroad and graduate are contributing factors to a club going inactive.

Adam Davis, vice president of the Lilly Scholars Network at Butler, said they became inactive for the fall 2011 semester because their leaders graduated and did not hold elections for the future.

“Last semester, none of us had any warning,” Davis said. “We just didn’t get emails, monthly emails, that were telling us what service events were coming up and that sort of thing.”

Davis said he contacted his organization’s alumni coordinator and learned of the group’s inactive status. He then banded together with a group of fellow scholars, formed a leadership team and found a faculty adviser.

Davis said the group then had to fulfill the requirements dictated by the PuLSE Office to become active.

Pakenham said that PuLSE recognizes Davis’ problem of not being aware of his group’s inactivity but has yet to find a solution.

“Our requirements from the PuLSE Office (to maintain an active status) are pretty minimal,” Pakenham said. “It shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect graduating officers to pass the necessary information along.”

Pakenham said she contacts the four people listed, but does not go beyond those names that a club provides her as part of the recognition process.

Kelsa Reynolds, vice president of operations, said when a club fails to go to a Student Government Association assembly meeting three times, they are declared inactive by SGA.

Mike Keller, SGA grants committee chairman, said that to be declared inactive by SGA is to be declared ineligible for grants from SGA. Keller said even if a club is declared active by the PuLSE Office, they may still be regarded as ineligible by SGA.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, they’re gonna get the grant, unless there is something that is making them ineligible,” Keller said.

Reynolds said the status of ineligibility lasts for the remainder of the semester and automatically changes to the active and eligible status at the beginning of the next semester unless the PuLSE Office intervenes.

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