The Student Organizations Council (SOC), an arm of Student Government, released new guidelines for the chartering process, which will no longer operate on a rolling basis.
Now, as outlined on the Office of Student Engagement’s website (OSE), student groups interested in acquiring a charter will contact the OSE within the first weeks of a given semester and will be assigned an adviser. Students will then apply for the charter on the SOC website, and the application will remain open for two weeks. During the review period, each group will be invited to speak before the SOC, and charters will be granted if a majority vote is received.
Student Government Adviser and Director of Student Organizations Shauna McNeil recognized the lack of opportunities for new student organizations before the new guidelines were released.
“Student organizations applied for a charter and were able to present to the Student Organizations Council on a rolling basis,” McNeil said. “The SOC had an undefined level of support from the Office of Student Engagement, which fostered inconsistencies regarding support and resources for new student groups to flourish.”
Student groups have responded positively to the changes, which they were notified of through email. Many of these groups have already taken action, per McNeil.
“Those students who have been patiently waiting to have their groups chartered are excited, as are the students who serve on the SOC,” McNeil said. “The announcement was sent to over 20 proposed groups, and many have already scheduled their meeting with Erinn Forbes [Wake Forest’s assistant director of student engagement] or myself, who are both serving as advisors during the process.”
McNeil believes that the new guidelines will lead to more student engagement and a thriving extracurricular community at Wake Forest.
“Our hope is that this new process will allow organizations to become more prepared to be self-sufficient prior to receiving a charter, which in turn will contribute to the longevity of their organizations,” she said. “It also provides an opportunity for the SOC to engage and support established student organizations as well.”
Students will be more likely to find community here at Wake Forest with this more inclusive chartering process. The proposed student groups are diverse and wide-ranging.
“The groups span a variety of types and interests,” McNeil said. “Some are academic in nature, and others are based more on student interests. We will know more as we meet with them in the coming weeks”
McNeil said that the changes will be formally announced after receiving approval from the Student Life Committee (SLC).