ASG discusses streamlining student group recognition process


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern Community Development Corps chair Taylor Billings discusses NCDC’s efforts to connect student groups at Senate Wednesday. Billings said the organization also wants to reduce over-programming on campus.

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government discussed Wednesday potential changes to the student group recognition process to help streamline the application procedure for new groups.

McCormick senior Alex Van Atta, vice president for student groups, said in the past, the recognition process required students to go through several steps to eventually be recognized. Students would have an idea for a student group, reach out to the Center for Student Involvement, ASG or both, and eventually be redirected to ASG before obtaining T-status and then B-status recognition.

Van Atta said there would often be miscommunication when students hoping to obtain student group recognition would reach out to both CSI and ASG.

“It’s just bureaucracy in general,” Van Atta said. “We really thought there needed to be a single process for getting recognition. Communication with CSI and ASG at the same time creates confusion for everybody.”

In the future, Van Atta said student groups will initially go to CSI to become recognized and approach ASG if they need funding. Rather than T-status, new groups will receive CSI recognition, which will allow them to reserve rooms, have an adviser and fundraise. Unlike T-status though, these groups do not have to have hosted a previous event to receive the title.

If groups need funding, they can apply for B-status and if approved, they can receive funding from ASG.

T-status groups and those currently applying for T-status will go through the old process and will then transition to the new system. Natalie Furlett, associate director of CSI, said the center is working with schools and departments that provide funding for groups outside of ASG and CSI to incorporate them into the new system. Students interested in recognition will fill out a form, which can be viewed on the CSI website, to begin the process.

Van Atta said the new guidelines still need to be approved by Senate but he hopes to have the process finalized before Thanksgiving.

Northwestern Community Development Corps chair Taylor Billings also spoke at the meeting about the organization’s recent efforts to increase collaboration between student groups. NCDC held its first Campus Conversations event Oct. 9, with 25 different student groups represented, to increase communication.

“I’m excited for more of that to take place and not be this formal email conversation,” Billings, a Weinberg senior, said. “I’m excited to see interactions between student groups become more casual and friendly, and I’m excited to see engagement become more accessible at Northwestern.”

Billings said NCDC also plans to spur discussion about over-programming on campus. She said hosting a lot of events doesn’t necessarily define how successful a group is.

“I think a lot of people are eager to put on events and produce, produce, produce,” she said. “More flexibility is necessary if we want to create dynamic programming, especially in collaboration with others.”

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