Student organizations adjust to new calendar year election cycle for officers

Until this year, Trinity club officers have started in office at the beginning of the academic year. When school starts in August, these officers, either already elected or projected to be elected, take up the mantle left behind by the officers of the last academic year.

There was not an official policy from the Campus and Community Involvement, but this election cycle was traditional among all the major clubs. This is no longer the case as some club terms will now follow calendar rather than the academic year election cycles.

“There are three advantages to this switch over to the calendar year from academic year,” said Evan Lewis, president of Student Government Association.

He went on to state that after the change, second-semester seniors will be absolutely free from any sort of obligations and be able to take care of finding jobs or internships elsewhere. Lewis went on to outline another advantage.

“New officers, after having been elected in the fall, have a semester with the old officer to get experienced with the office and its responsibilities,” Lewis said.

This is a significant boost to functionality for major clubs. Previously, elections would happen in the spring for SGA, and there would not be enough time to train officers to make decisions in the upcoming fall semester. This made funding the other clubs very inefficient with inexperienced officers.

“Funding that SGA does with the Big Six clubs (SGA, Trinity Diversity Organization, Student Programming Board, Trinity University Volunteer Action Committee, Greek Council and Trinity Investors) is done at the end of the spring, so the new officers had a semester to make a budget, therefore, making the conversations more effective among the officers,” Lewis said.

This system was implemented last year, and last semester was known as the transition period. Most university clubs had an interim officer for a short amount of time to get the election and office system back into rhythm.

However, for some organizations, like Campus Publications, following the calendar system would not make sense. Therefore, some clubs elected to still stay on the academic year system instead of the currently established calendar.

It appears that this system is an immediate success. First year Devina Kumar, Entertainments Chair of the Student Programming Board, agrees that this policy seems to create a more effective work environment since everyone knows exactly what is going on.

“I really think that the transition is way smoother so far, as the functionality of the club is improved significantly under this new model,” Kumar said.

First year Chinmay Chobhe, Public Relations Liaison to the International Club agrees with Kumar.

“We have already had a similar situation where officers are chosen to spend a year observing and then get ready to take the mantle next year. It  seems to be quite effective as far as I can see,” Chobhe said.