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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Breaking down the umbrella organization headache

A large part of the college experience is joining clubs and other organizations. At Case Western Reserve University, the breakdown of extracurriculars can be more than just a little headache. Despite being part of more than three organizations, it has taken me a year to understand the umbrella organization structure here at CWRU, and what each acronym stands for and what that group is doing.

AC: The Allocations Committee is an elected group that manages the Student Activity Fund and audits the other umbrella organizations that use it. They also provide one-time capital purchases for large projects or emergencies and audit all other umbrella organizations while making suggestions on how to spend their funds.

Reach out to the AC if your club needs a one-time capital purchase for a big expense or emergency. You should not go to them for travel costs or other repeatable expenses. If you have a concern, you can always reach out and ask, or submit a proposal.

USG: Undergraduate Student Government is the umbrella organization that oversees most clubs on campus, and the one with the largest allocation. However, their committee system can be confusing and has a lot of internal divisions. They strive to represent all undergraduates on campus, as well as each college. They also make policies and work with campus administration to try and change things on campus while advocating for the student body. As they are the main liaison between students and administrators, if you ever have a problem, reach out and let them know your concern!

COC: Class Officer Collective focuses on campus traditions and class connections. They do not have any clubs that fall under them, but instead plan and run some of the biggest events at CWRU: Snowball, Homecoming Tailgate and the Hudson Relays, to name a few. COC has specific cohorts for each class, with five positions that plan class-specific events as well as the larger events with the rest of the organization. When you graduate, your COC class president even makes a speech at graduation.

COC officers are the ones to receive pitch event ideas or a possible new tradition. They’re always looking for fresh ideas, volunteers and collaborations.

UPB: University Program Board plans numerous events each year. UPBingo, UPBroadway and Thwing Tuesdays are all popular UPB events. They are bigger than COC, and instead of focusing on traditional events like Homecoming and the Hudson Relays, they throw a wide variety of unique events including concerts, off-campus outings, Mario Kart tournaments, food tours, social dances and more. See how you can get involved with UPB’s planning or financial process—they do have a fairly large budget—as they can surely use all the help they can get.

UDC: University Diversity Collaborative aims to support organizations that advocate for their 8 pillars of diversity. With 54 clubs, UDC is a great place to find people who understand you and share similar cultural experiences. If you feel alone on campus, UDC is a perfect place to start looking for a community.

UMB: University Media Board houses organizations like The Athenian, Studio 300, Footlighters and The Observer. UMB organizations provide performance and writing opportunities to students including improv shows, musicals, plays, videos, radio shows, podcasts and more. Whether you want to be in front of the camera or behind it, reach out to an organization in UMB. They are sure to have a spot for you!

RHA: The Residence Hall Association consists of the community councils that oversee the residence halls and advocate on behalf of their community’s residents. Upper-class housing is all under one community council, but second-year students have three and first-years four.

If you are having an issue with your housing, reach out to RHA and see how they can help. They have worked toward fixing housing-related problems, including making laundry services free in 2010. They are the go-to place for any and all housing concerns, apart from any actual maintenance issues, which you should still contact University Housing to have fixed.

IFC/PHC: The Interfraternity Congress/Panhellenic Council coordinates Greek Life at CWRU and manages the activities of the 10 sororities and 16 fraternities on campus. For example, both IFC/PHC plan recruiting events at the start of each semester and PHC coordinates formal recruitment in the spring. If you’re looking for a family on campus or just want to get out of typical on-campus housing and meal plans, check out IFC/PHC to see if there is a sorority or fraternity you fit into, or even one with a bunch of people you already know in it.

SPR: The Student President’s Roundtable is a group of presidents from the executive boards of all of the above umbrella organizations. They come together, express concerns and make decisions on many topics and issues pertinent to campus life. If you want to learn more about what SPR talks about or what issues might be brought up next, reach out to the president of any umbrella organization.

It is nearly impossible to know everything about each of these organizations and their inner workings, but I hope this breakdown helps you understand a little more about what each organization does and where your favorite club on campus might fit in.

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