Admin’s Rules Stifle Student Organizations

    The main problem with TAPs is that they’re loaded with all sorts of overly administrative rules. For example, student orgs must file a TAP a full 21 days before an event — no exceptions. This stifles the sort of fast-paced organization that 21st century brocrastinating college students thrive on. But we can’t just get rid of TAPs. TAPs are just a symptom of something else going on.

    Admin loads A.S. Council and the Center for Student Involvement with cumbersome rules because they’re financially housed within the university. When money is allocated from A.S. Council for a club event, the university assumes legal liability for what happens at that event. To make sure they don’t get slammed with lawsuits, admin takes an overprotective stance. They ban money going towards student org philanthropies and off-campus events. And they require TAPs.

    At other schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA and UCD, the student government is fully autonomous from the university and isn’t subject to the same kind of paternalistic rules from admin. Their A.S. Councils are registered 501c3 non-profits, and the students are more free to manage their affairs internally. If our A.S. Council was a 501c3, TAPs could be traded up for a system developed by students specifically to be student friendly. More importantly, we could also implement our own independent funding guidelines for student orgs.

    But here’s the brohibitor preventing our A.S. Council from being autonomous — we don’t have the revenue source to do it. The student government at UCLA takes in $90 million a year, shaming our $3.4 million. The reason they have so much more revenue is that their A.S. Council owns dining halls, the bookstore and student stores. We, as students, don’t own these student services.

    At UCSD we need our administration to get serious about the idea of giving our student government financial stakes in student services like dining halls and PC restaurant rental to enable the transition of A.S. Council to being independent. This could be aligned with other campus developments too. Maybe if A.S. Council leads the development of Greek housing, profits from land rentals could go back to student government coffers.

    Ultimately, making the body that represents UCSD students symbolically and legally independent of administration is going to take administrative support. But if done, at least we’d be out of their hair, and free to tackle our own problems ourselves.

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