Director of Organizations Candidate Profile: Daphne Han
To you, what are the responsibilities of the Director of Organizations and why are they important?
I think the Director of Organizations is a role that is responsible for representing the voices and concerns of student organizations. Internally, the Director of Organizations is responsible for ensuring the members of CoSO clearly know the recognition process and what CoSO looks for when recognizing/re-recognizing an organization (things such as is this organization distinct enough from existing organizations, does this organization seem like it has longevity, etc.) Additionally, aside from this, I think it is also the responsibility of the Director of Organizations to be the bridge of communication between SLICE, other university staff, JFC, and the rest of the student body to CoSO so that we can ensure there is adequate space for these organizations on campus and support them in the best way possible.
Why do you think you are qualified to hold the position of Director of Organizations?
I have served on CoSO for the past 2 years, both of which I held the position of Director of New Recognition. Through my time on CoSO and the responsibilities I've had, I've had the time and ability to meet students from different communities that I normally don't see. I've also been able to discuss with university staff on how we can support organizations seeking recognition. Being in charge of the new recognition process for 2 years has allowed me to really think about what CoSO can do better that is feasible, and what CoSO can continue doing to support our students.
How do you plan on communicating to organizations any information they need and make sure they are filling out required forms and know when there are opportunities?
Transitioning to TartanConnect has made things a lot more organized for CoSO internally this year. For re-recognition, we always send out emails to the primary contacts for each existing organization at the beginning of the academic year to ensure they have enough time to fill out the application to avoid going defunct. We also send out reminder emails throughout the timeline. From what I've seen, I think it is a bit difficult sometimes when a club goes through a large transition of leadership from year-to-year and sometimes, not all the information is passed down to the new leadership of the club. If any organizations are struggling, I and the re-recognition chair will reach out to the organization and meet with them.
Do you believe the current club recognition process is adequate, or should there be some sort of change? Should there be any extra requirements for organizations that are not already in place?
There are a couple things I would like to improve on. The first thing is forming better partnerships with academic departments. The number of recognized student organizations grows year by year, and all recognized student organizations apply to receive funding from JFC. The past year, I've been working with Tepper on discussing how we can create a more collaborative space for clubs seeking to be newly recognized as Tepper-affiliate organizations. I think discussions and collaborations like this are extremely helpful to help CoSO make decisions on recognizing organizations by receiving perspectives from all parts of our university. Additionally, I would like to develop a closer partnership with JFC. JFC deals with organization funding and all organizations recognized by CoSO can apply for JFC funding. The work CoSO does impacts the work that JFC does, so I'd like us to be more active in communication next academic year. Another thing I want to implement is reinforcing in-person meetings for CoSO to improve our efficiency and work in the recognition processes.
**How do you plan to make/promote CoSO so it is as diverse as the organizations that it recognizes and oversees? **
Since CoSO is a committee in student government, I will reach out to Senate and GSA to send out information to their constituents when summer begins to try to garner interest within the student body. Additionally, I will also be reaching out to academic advisors across different colleges and departments to send out information to incoming students who would be interested in joining CoSO. I also plan reaching out to the leadership of all the diverse clubs we have on campus. One thing I am hoping to do is to perhaps hold an informal informational meeting near the end of the semester to discuss what CoSO is and what we do. I think this will also be a great way to hear from the student body about things they would like to see improved about the new recognition/re-recognition processes.
To you, what are the current needs of student organizations that you hope to fulfill if elected to this position?
I think a lot of the issues we've seen on CoSO right now are mainly due to the difference between the recognition processes during the peak of COVID and post-COVID. I want to focus on helping organizations develop a stronger foundation, especially when transitioning leadership or starting a new club. One way I hope to do this is to connect new student organization leaders with leaders from pre-existing clubs that may share a similar community or interest. Additionally, I really want to better support graduate students. From conversations I've had last year and this year, many graduate students feel like a lot of the organizations that exist on campus cater more towards undergraduate students. While there is nothing wrong with that, many of the students I've talked to feel like there isn't a space for them to be more involved. This past year, I've seen more graduate-led organizations pop up and I hope that by working closely with these organizations, we can encourage the creation and inclusion of more graduate student organization spaces.