Ask the VEEP: Student Involvement FAQs

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The Archway has teamed up with Dr. John Saddlemire, Vice President of Student Affairs, to provide first-hand information about administration and university endeavors. This week, we discussed student involvement. The following questions were submitted by students and answered by Dr. Saddlemire himself. If you have any questions that you would like featured in future editions, please email Allie Miller, amiller11@bryant.edu, or submit ideas via Twitter!

We’ve seen a lot of emphasis on new campus facilities with a variety of purposes. Are there any plans to create spaces for the arts and student expression?

The Fisher Student Center is always open to hosting events for the arts and for student expression. If students are interested in exploring this opportunity, they can contact Joshua Wilkin, Associate Director for Campus Life at (401) 232-6952 or jwilkin@bryant.edu
The Fisher Advisory Board, which plans programming once-a-month, has developed an initiative for artists to submit artwork to be displayed within the Fisher Student Center for the 2016-2017 academic year! This initiative is open to all students, faculty or staff who would like to submit their artwork for the academic year. All artwork must incorporate Bryant University in order to be accepted. This initiative is on a rolling admissions basis; therefore, if you are interested in participating, please complete an application on OrgSync at https://orgsync.com/100806/forms/223949 or type “Submit Artwork” into the OrgSync search field.
If students are interested in creating a club based around the arts and student expression they can reach out to Anna Takahama X 6509 atakahama@bryant.edu.

The President Cultural Series brings renowned artists to Bryant, with performances taking place in Janikies, Bello Grand Hall, FSC, Machtley Interfaith Center, and even Salmo. To find out more details on these events, you can check out events.bryant.edu or look at the Events Newsletter which gets emailed to you each Monday.
In addition to our own facilities, we encourage activities within our cultural-rich communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Student Programming Board continues to sponsor activities and trips to various theatrical and musical productions in Providence with free or reduced rate tickets.

How would you recommend strengthening awareness and interest in the arts on campus? Does the solution lie with students or administration?

The level of interest and awareness directly correlates to the energy and feedback from our students. We are here to support and foster the interests of our students. When groups have come forward wanting to start organizations based around the arts, the Office of Campus Engagement helps them get started.

If not for the interest of our students, we wouldn’t have groups like Bryant Players, Chamber Ensemble, Bryant Singers, Bryant Improv Troupe, Bryant Jazz Ensemble, aDvANCEd Evolution Dance Team, Anime & Literature Society, Bryant Fashion Forum, Bryant University Bulldog Dancers, Velocity Dance Team, The Bottom Line and more.

What is the distinction between governing and independent student organizations? What role (if any) does administration play in these types of organizations?
These are the terms formerly used to classify different categories of recognized student organizations.  “Governing organizations” are now called “partnering organizations,” and “independent organizations” are now called “affiliated organizations.”  The official descriptions are below:

Partnering Organizations

Partnering Organizations serve as recognized representatives of the student body and its constituents to the University administration, and are advised by paid University staff dedicated to serving in this role.  These organizations include The Archway, Commuter Connection, International Student Organization, Multicultural Student Union, Ledger yearbook, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Student Senate, Student Programming Board, and WJMF Radio Station. These organizations have specific functions and obligations delegated to them by Bryant University; they are directly supervised by the University in the exercise of these functions. 

Academic Clubs

Academic clubs are comprised of students who share a common academic interest. These organizations may be supported by a specific academic department or, in the case of interdisciplinary organizations, the Academic Affairs division.   In either case, the Academic Club should show how their mission and activities are aligned with the mission of their supporting academic organization.  Academic clubs are advised by a faculty or staff member of the department or division with which they are aligned.

Sport Clubs
Club Sports are comprised of individuals who have a desire to compete or participate in a sport. Each club’s level of activity is unique and ranges from regional to national intercollegiate competition. Each club is represented on the Club Sports Council and is advised by the Director of Club Sports and Intramurals. Club Sports is committed to improving the quality of student life for all participants involved while offering different opportunities to meet the needs of the Bryant community.

Affiliated Clubs

Affiliated Clubs are comprised of students who share a common interest. They are primarily composed of Bryant University students and annually recognized by the Office of Campus Engagement, and are required to have a faculty/staff advisor who is a faculty or staff member of the Bryant community. These organizations are eligible to receive funding through the Student Involvement Fee, with the exception of funding for travel. Benefits of recognition include affiliation with the Bryant University name and branding, ability to reserve space, utilize on campus dining vendor, opportunity to participate in leadership training, hosting an OrgSync portal, etc.

How are funds generated by the student involvement fee allocated between different campus organizations?

Recognized student organizations are eligible to apply for annual funding through the Ways & Means Committee of the Student Senate, or the Club Sports Council if they are a recognized sports club.  Both processes involve submitting a budget proposal to a committee comprised of students and staff, and attending a budget hearing to answer questions about the proposal.  Final recommendations for budget allocations are voted on by the Student Senate.

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