By Shannon Alomar
Almost a week after student clubs were told to submit their Student Government Association (SGA) budgets for the fall 2015 semester, club leaders have still been left in the dark about office spaces.
Up until this school year, student clubs were expected to reapply for office spaces every four years.That reapplication process is now held every two years.
This semester, the application was due on February 25 and the allocation of office spaces was supposed to be announced on March 5. But, due to an unexpected snow day, SGA’s club relations chair Alexandra Engelson sent out an email saying the date would be postponed to March 12. Furthering the delay, Engelson sent out an email on March 12 stating: “The University is evaluating space in the Student Center to see how it can best be utilized. Your Student Government Association is committed to representing club interests in these discussions. Therefore, we have opted to postpone the finalization of office space allocations by a few weeks. Thank you for your patience. We welcome your feedback and questions.”
When the last allocations for office spaces were given, in 2012, several clubs either lost their office space or were consolidated. Overall, the outcome left several leaders unhappy. The current conflict surrounding the issue is the extended wait for clubs to find out whether or not they will be granted office space for the next two academic years.
Sarah Young, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) said the allocations are delayed due to an evaluation of space.
“The club space allocations have been postponed because the Dean of Students [Office], along with the Office of Student Leadership and Activities is reviewing space usage in the Student Center and will be making recommendations to the vice president of Student Affairs,” Young said.
These departments are reportedly working on identifying as many club spaces as possible to house more student-run organizations.
The factors that determine club space allocation will still be dictated by SGA.
SGA representatives did not make themselves available for comment at the time of publication.
With spring break approaching, student leaders are anxious about the probable outcomes of their office spaces and the lack of communication from SGA.
President of Hofstra’s Organization of Latin Americans Jennifer Toledano said the delay for answers is an inconvenience.
“I am not happy about the office space approvals being prolonged because I feel like I am in the shadows about where my club will be next semester. The same way SGA gives us a deadline for applications and do not accept anything if it’s late, I want SGA to also keep their promise about their deadline for responses,” Toledano said.
Mikwaevonn Mills, president of Collegiate Women of Color also said her frustration lies in the unresponsive attitude from SGA.
“I feel like SGA prolonging club offices is very evident that a change is going to occur for the Hofstra student-run organizations. However, I am highly annoyed since it has been an entire month since the room application was due. Personally, I feel that SGA is stalling as a way to take the heat off of their backs once the results are revealed,” Mills said.
On the other hand, some club leaders such as Jade Williams, treasurer of Hofstra Concerts, feels confident about her club’s outcome of holding a space but empathizes with other clubs.
“It does not have that much of an effect on me or my club. We know our space is safe, but I think it can be very frustrating for other clubs… I hope that everything gets resolved and the clubs that actually need spaces get them,” Williams said.
According to Young, clubs will know before spring break whether their club has gained, retained or lost a club office space.