May 9, 2012

Senate to accommodate APO budget

Senate bylaws concerning club status requirements are to be changed to accommodate Alpha Phi Omega’s retention of the status.

During the April 26 student senate meeting, APO’s status as a budgeted club was brought to question and debated at length, but upheld.

Senior Finance Committee Chair Sara Ahmed recalled the argument for the shift in status.

“We’ve always operated under the assumption that clubs cannot exclude people; therefore you cannot have membership requirements. They have individual dues, philanthropy requirements and can kick members out,” she said.

The proposal to make APO an organization drew mixed reviews, failing by a vote of seven for the proposal, eight against and five abstentions. The issue has been brought up in years past, according to Ahmed, but was never addressed due to its controversial nature.

“The past senates didn’t want to address it because they didn’t want to deal with having 20 or 30 people come into senate to argue their case. They didn’t want to create anything that would create more ill feelings toward senate. The thing is that we do see that a lot of students are involved, so we don’t want to completely cut them off funding,” Ahmed said.

In order to maintain their club status, Treasurer junior Amanda Lee and President junior Drew Diaz assured senate that APO’s by-laws would be changed to accommodate the senate regulations.

“They said that they wouldn’t have certain times allocated for students to become members and open up their club so that people can join APO at any time,” Ahmed said.

While several changes have been made to APO bylaws, the elimination of restrictions has not been as easy as once hoped.

“The thing is that they are unable to change their membership restrictions. Because they are APO, they are affiliated with a national organization,” Ahmed said.

To solve the problem, Ahmed is working to redraw the definition of a club, while not over-loosening the criteria.

“What I’m going to do is rewrite the bylaws, which we did last night, to accommodate APO. We redid the definition of a club to [say] a club has no GPA requirements,” Ahmed said, revealing that this would still keep other organizations under their current rules. “Other fraternities and sororities and social and academic organizations have these GPA requirements, but not APO.”

Senate is still discussing the fact that APO members must pay dues.

“We’re discussing whether clubs can have individual dues, but it’s tricky because if we take that out, we open the door for other organizations to come in for club status,” Ahmed said.

Julian Boireau
Julian Boireau is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in French. This is his fourth year working for TKS, having served as co-news editor during his sophomore and junior years. He has been involved in journalism for seven years, serving as opinions editor of the newspaper and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. In September 2012, Julian received press credentials to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where he reported on remarks by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He is also the recipient of back-to-back first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association for front page layout.

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