In an article for the Daily Campus written by Anna Zarra Aldrich and published on Oct. 12, it was reported that since last year 30 clubs at UConn have become inactive. According to policies listed on the UConn Student Activities website, clubs may move between active, frozen, locked and inactive statuses based on their completion of Student Organizations Leaders Intentional Development (SOLID) requirements. These SOLID requirements include deadlines for updating club constitutions and rosters and organization leaders completing in person and online workshops. Each club is also required to have a minimum of eight members and certain officer positions filled.
Many of these clubs have gone inactive due to student leaders and members graduating, Kristen Carr, coordinator of Student Involvement programs, told Aldrich. Others have failed to meet the aforementioned requirements, have conduct issues or have disbanded simply due to a loss of interest.
The former, the impact of graduating students, represents a trend in colleges and universities and the inherent reality of high turnover. Most students are at UConn for four years, and may not hold leadership positions until they are upperclassmen. These quick transitions in club leadership, without adequate support or communication between incoming and outgoing officers, can be problematic, leaving many questions unanswered and new leaders unaware of the extent of their responsibilities.
The UConn Student Involvement Office should provide support and possible training for clubs on this transition to help formalize and streamline this process and prevent so many clubs from becoming inactive in the future. If there is loss of interest, it is understandable, and in fact preferable, that certain clubs have gone inactive so the UConn Student Involvement Office can best manage and organize active organizations. However, in other situations, going inactive can have devastating effects on a student organization – meaning they are ineligible for some funding and cannot book space in the Student Union for meetings and other events.
Overall, the Student Involvement Office and their SOLID requirements have a positive effect on the running and growth of student organizations on campus, which foster a vibrant campus community. “We make every effort to work with organization leaders to help them meet their requirements,” Carr said. Carr said UConn received approximately 100 requests for new clubs each year, which is much higher than the 30 that have gone inactive this past year, representing a positive trend. However, the Office can improve by offering additional support for groups, and should continue to be as adaptive and supportive as possible in helping groups that desire so, to remain active.