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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
The Observer

Council revamps internal structure, updates policies

One of the lesser-known branches of student government, the Club Coordination Council (CCC) plays a large role in the task of making sure all of Notre Dame’s more than 200 clubs function on a daily basis.

The CCC is comprised of club members elected by their peers to represent and oversee all of the recognized student clubs on campus, senior Jimmy McEntee, president of the CCC, said. The members are divided into six subdivisions that represent the diversity of clubs included: academic, athletic, special interest, performing arts, cultural and social service, he said.

“The CCC has two major responsibilities, in my opinion. First, we allocate the funds given to us by the University — approximately $300,000 — to all of the undergraduate clubs,” McEntee said. “Second, we oversee the new club process at Notre Dame, voting on whether to approve prospective clubs throughout the academic year.”

Club organization, club networking and club promoting are all also tasks for which the CCC offers assistance, senior Peter Hall, CCC vice president, said.

“Additionally, we are responsible for running the appeal process if clubs have unexpected events that require funding,” McEntee said. “A limited amount of funds are set aside for the varying appeals throughout the year. Finally, we serve in a position that assists clubs whenever they need help.”

An executive council of elected students from among the CCC’s membership heads the group, Hall said. According to the CCC website, the executive board consists of a president, vice president and controller.

The council set out three main goals for the year, Hall said.

“The first is transparency. Many people do not know that this council exists, let alone what it does, so by being transparent we will raise awareness of the CCC and help to provide insight into how we operate,” Hall said. “Secondly, we wanted to take a critical look at how we operate internally to see where we could improve.

“Finally, we wanted to be more efficient. Past councils have been effective, but this year we want to be effective while being efficient.”

McEntee said he believed the council should focus on community between the clubs and reevaluating the CCC’s own policies and procedures.

“Due to the importance of cooperation among the divisions, one goal I’ve worked very hard on is to create an environment with a greater sense of community among the divisions and understanding for clubs outside an individual member’s division,” McEntee said. “An additional goal we set at the beginning of the year involved a reexamination of the procedures and policies for the CCC. We still have on file work papers from the early [1990s] from the CCC, and not much has changed since then.

“A third goal we set at the beginning of the year involved making the process for clubs to thrive and exist as smooth and pain-free as possible.”

McEntee said the third goal centered on making requirements for maintaining club status "as smooth and pain-free as possible." New changes to the processes of the meetings have helped make this year’s CCC more successful than in past years, too, he said.

“Part of the reason for this change can be explained by structural changes to CCC meetings, including an announcements section at the end of meetings, where divisions can promote and highlight various events occurring within their division in the near future,” McEntee said. “As well, between solid representation at Team ND and new themed CCC meetings, our representative have developed a strong rapport that will benefit our organization as a whole come allocation season.”

The division of the membership into several small groups that focus on specific issues that could improve operation has been beneficial as well, Hall said.

“We have been intentional with our agenda each week and moderated conversation efficiently to ensure all points are heard, but decisions get made in a very timely fashion,” Hall said.

Reexaminations of policy and procedure have been informed by systems at other universities, McEntee said.

“A few CCC members contacted other universities to understand the systems in place for dealing with undergraduate clubs, and we are looking at ways to include some of the positive aspects from those schools here at Notre Dame,” McEntee said. “We have also conducted a thorough review of the CCC bylaws and are in the process of changing a few small components.”

New members have also played a big role in the council’s continued success, Hall said.

“We have worked hard to develop great relationships with the individual clubs. Just this past week we voted in new members, but for the first time I can remember we had more applicants than spots open,” Hall said. “This indicates more people are aware of what we do and want to be a part of the CCC.”

The new changes have also helped with making allocation of funds and other club processes less difficult for the clubs, McEntee said.

“I’d like to highlight the work Paul Manrique, our advisor, has done that has had a significant positive change for students,” McEntee said. “We changed our previously mandatory club information nights to Club Leadership Forums (CLF), broken down on a division-by-division basis.

“This allowed clubs to be introduced to the CCC members who represent their division, a change from past years. At the CLFs, clubs were provided with a folder containing all relevant information for their organization.”

McEntee said the council constantly strives to improve the experience for everyone.

“We are excited for the upcoming months at the CCC, and are always looking to improve the way we do things,” he said.