Many hands make light work

Student Dormitory Council (SDC) films are off to a rocky start. (You might have noticed a lack of Saturday-night movies in McConomy this semester.)

SDC has had to cancel its films twice, depriving the student community of Steve Martin and madmen in Guy Fawkes masks. Yet the trouble with SDC is more serious than missing your favorite summer blockbuster due to technical difficulties. The root of SDC’s problem is recruitment — or lack thereof. Take it from The Tartan, which learned the hard way that recruitment should be done more heavily outside the organization. Waiting until it’s too late can be disastrous.

SDC has had a rough time recruiting members, which is a serious problem when you consider that SDC duties include not only screening the Saturday McConomy films (often the most popular films of the week), but also the allocation of certain funds to campus housing activities. These funds help to reduce the price of tickets for Purnell shows and aid the RAs and CAs in taking members of floors or houses out for events. In short, the Student Dormitory Council has an important role on this campus; if new members aren’t recruited, other groups may have to pick up the slack or students may have to do without SDC’s vital (and fun) services.

SDC has asked AB Films for help and is trying to arrange for AB Films to train more people on the SDC executive board to operate the projection equipment. That’s a good step forward, but not one that will ultimately solve the problem of too few staff members. It might ensure that Saturday movies go off without a hitch, but it spreads a thin staff thinner.

Also, SDC should know what happens when students are torn between responsibilities: Its acting films chair is also an RA. Being the sole member of its film staff and an RA cannot be easy to balance.

The solution SDC should be looking for is recruitment here and now, even if it feels it has missed the big surge at the year’s beginning. First-years on this campus are more eager to engage in the community than ever. The year has barely begun, and even though training would have to be provided for new staff, it would prevent people from having to pull double duty.

It’s great that SDC wants to train more of its staff to run films, but the situation won’t get better unless it starts examining why the organization has troubles with recruitment. It’s a matter of taking the time and effort to look at the organization’s practices and then finding those excited first-years (or upperclassmen) who want to be a part of making things happen for the student body.

SDC would be wise to start working toward a more viable solution rather than working its already overwrought staff harder. If not, the process of running a well-working organization will only become more challenging for the few members they have. It’s a mistake that we at The Tartan have made in the past and hope to see SDC avoid. Many hands make light work.