Message from the Vice-President of the GBSA
As the start of the school year nears, students are preparing for their classes by purchasing books, reviewing last year’s material, and focusing their job search. For the GBSA, a major deadline to re-evaluate Weatherhead’s clubs and provide the budgets for next year has arrived along with the school year.
As enrollment has become more selective, class sizes have become smaller. However, the myriad of students’ interests has not narrowed at the same rate. So a problem facing GBSA and the individual clubs last year was lower student representation and participation in clubs. The smaller number of students was simply spread too thin between the seventeen different clubs. In response to this problem, one of my personal goals for this upcoming year will be to increase the participation in all events so the industry professionals that make time for our students will feel appreciated and will want to return.
Although we are limiting the immediate formation of new clubs, we do not want to discriminate against new interests that may arise due to the changing nature of the classes each year. With this in mind, we have added a new classification to student clubs- “GBSA Sponsored Group.” These “groups” will either consist of a newly proposed club, or a previous club that was either inactive or had poor participation in the past. The difference between being a GBSA Club and a GBSA Group, is that clubs have their own budgets for the entire school year that they control and groups will request funds from the GBSA pool to hold a single event. Provided that the group’s event is successful in terms of student participation, they can continue to request funds from the GBSA pool for future events. After the first semester, groups with successful records will be eligible for “Club” status and an individual budget for the second semester.
We hope the new classification will accomplish three things: to test the interest base for a new club before we allocate funds directly to it, to provide an outlet for inactive clubs of the past to redeem student interest, and to provide flexibility for club events rather than have money tied up in unfulfilled schedules. The first goal directly coincides with the overall goal of improving attendance at events. By limiting the formation of new clubs for which student interest is unknown, we hope to keep participation levels high for our current clubs. The second goal of the policy gives clubs that were either inactive or hadn’t generated student interest in the past, a second chance to improve their offerings this year. The last goal of the system is to impede the problem of an inactive club “freezing” money they won’t use, which could be used by other clubs.
This year will serve as the trial period for the new club system. While we are expecting some unanticipated results, we felt that the old system needed to be changed in order to reflect the changing class sizes and compositions we now have. Along with a school-wide calendar, weekly event emails, and in-class announcements, we hope that student attendance will increase at events, speakers will be encouraged to return, and the Weatherhead School of Management’s reputation will be enhanced.
GBSA VP of Student Organizations