Few clubs applied to SG-funded clubhouse

Ellen+Tepper%2C+Director+of+COSO%2C+oversees+the+clubhouse%2C+which+cost+over+%2420%2C000+to+build.+The+clubhouse+was+built+to+help+students+manage+their+clubs+and+has+lockers+for+storage+plus+computers+for+students+to+use.+Photo+by+Christine+Cappoziello

Ellen Tepper, Director of COSO, oversees the clubhouse, which cost over $20,000 to build. The clubhouse was built to help students manage their clubs and has lockers for storage plus computers for students to use. Photo by Christine Cappoziello

Mailyn Abreu

Ellen Tepper, Director of COSO, oversees the clubhouse, which cost over $20,000 to build. The clubhouse was built to help students manage their clubs and has lockers for storage plus computers for students to use. Photo by Christine Cappoziello

Student Government spent over $20,000 on a room almost no one’s using.

Since its Aug. 1 opening, Boca campus’ Council of Student Organizations (COSO) clubhouse — built for 21 clubs — has received 13 applications. COSO, a SG organization, funds 115 campus clubs, according to SG’s 2011-12 budget.

The clubhouse, which cost $22,089.76, is meant to help clubs manage themselves and plan events. It’s in room 227 of the Student Union, and has enough lockers and computer-equipped desks for 21 clubs.

The deadline for clubs to apply was originally Aug. 15, but after receiving few applications, got pushed to Aug. 26, then Sept. 2. Eventually, the deadline was removed and clubs could apply all semester.

The clubhouse was thought up under former COSO Director Robert Huffman, who is currently SG’s VP. The UP attempted to contact Huffman for comment, but he hadn’t responded as of press time.

“Students are still figuring out about the space and learning of its presence on campus,” COSO Director Ella Tepper told the UP in October. “I feel that by next semester much more students will be aware and will utilize the space.”

Trevor Raborn, former interim COSO director, commented, “Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it has to start off slow.”

Advertising isn’t the problem. Four emails with clubhouse information and applications were sent to all clubs throughout the semester. COSO also promoted the room at Get Wow’d, Club Fest and a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August.

“We’ve done a lot on our end to get people to apply,” said Tepper, “I’ve heard of a lot of organizations that are interested in the clubhouse, but some have been switching officers and haven’t had the time to go through the application,” said Tepper, referring to clubs getting new leaders. “We’ve never had something like this before.”

Clubs with Workstations:

Caribbean Student Association

College Republicans

Film Club

Mission Green

Minority Association of Pre-medical Students

Owl Rangers

Clubs with Lockers: 

Alpha Psi Lambda

Catch the Fire

Sigma Lambda Gamma

Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Traditional Gaming Club

The Gems

Voice of Planned Parenthood (VOX)

Some clubs, however, don’t think the clubhouse is useful to them.

Black Student Union President Keisha Carter said, “I didn’t apply for any [locker space] because I didn’t think my organization needed it.”

Accounting Student Association Maryann Lynch hasn’t applied either. “It’s too involved of a process, filling out forms and spending X amount of time in clubhouse.” She referred to a rule saying clubs must spend 10-15 hours a week there — a rule COSO deleted in October.

“This project fell flat on its face only getting half of its lockers filled,” Raborn said. “That’s indicative of poor management and I would question if this clubhouse idea is something students want, since they are clearly not using it.”

Raborn said he would have handled the project differently. “I would have polled the actual clubs to see if they really would see a need for it before considering [the clubhouse], because in the long run it’s about what the students want, and you are there to represent them.”

Clubs in the clubhouse must clear out their lockers and leave by Dec. 8, Tepper said at a Nov. 21 COSO meeting. They can reapply by Jan. 23 if they want space in the spring semester.

Go to www.fau.edu/sil/clubhouse/coso.php to learn more about the clubhouse.