Allison Camp and Brigid Burns
NIAGARA FALLS, NY- Maham Alamgir has created a petition on Sept. 28 on change.org titled “Minimizing Club Dues.” The petition is addressed to Jason Jakubowski, Dean of Students. So far, 69 students have signed the petition and Alamgir has set her goal to 100.
“All clubs and club sports must collect dues for the express purpose of benefiting the local organization (including those with national affiliation). The specific amount of the dues is to be determined by the club,” according to NUSGA budget rules.
“The reason why I wrote to Jason was because I knew he was the Dean of Students. Now I know I could have written to Bill (Newton), I could have written to Mati (Ortiz), but I felt like because he was the Dean of Students he would be able to factor, push that change,” says Alamgir.
Bill Newton is the Assistant Director of Campus Activities and Mati Ortiz is the Director of Campus Activities. In addition to Newton and Ortiz, Derek Puff is the Director of Recreation, Intramurals, and Club Sports.
“This is appropriate considering Jason is responsible for the oversight of our two areas which deal directly with clubs and club sports,” says Ortiz and Puff on who Alamgir addressed the petition to.
Niagara University offers over 100 student clubs and organizations. The minimum payment to be in one is $15.
“If we have a club. . .and they pay that what was in the past $10, they pay the $15 now, that $15 goes to that club. It doesn’t go to a general fund or it doesn’t go to NUSGA, it goes right to that club so I think that’s important to know that too,” says Jakubowski.
Alamgir included in her petition reasons as to why she feels that club dues should be lowered. One of the reasons was that if a student is looking to go to graduate school, then they should have an impactful resume and a versatile background. If they are not able to be in clubs because of their financial situation, then their resume may seem bland or vague. The petition also states that student fees should cover club dues. It also includes that if students should have to pay dues for a club, that it should be lower than $10. Natalie Jennings, President of the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization, gave her input on this matter.
“Not all students join clubs so it would be a waste for tuition to cover it. It would be beneficial if they started a specific funding grant for clubs or something of the like to help students who might be struggling with the dues,” Jennings states.
Jakubowski also included his input on the financial situation of students if they are interested in joining a club
“If there’s a student who wants to be part of a club let’s say, and let’s say those finances aren’t there, I know advisors have worked creatively with students to make sure that we don’t limit their involvement based on money,” says Jakubowski.
Students at Niagara join clubs in order to feel as though they are a part of something, and to enhance their learning experience. The University will react to this petition because they do not want to make anyone feel as though they are financially stretching themselves. The petition has brought these thoughts to light.
“I know that they (NUSGA) have a timeline or a calendar where they review things periodically so if there is gonna be any kind of change let’s say, I can see it for semester or semester, so either for spring or for fall,” says Jakubowski.
“I believe that many people do not have a full understanding of the cost associated with operating many of our clubs, specifically club sports. I think it is important for students to be fully educated on these costs and why dues are Important,” says Puff.
Discussions between Alamgir and the school have already taken place to try and figure out a way to fix this matter.
“I have spoken to the author of the petition and discussed what her next steps should be. I suggested she submit a proposal to NUSGA with some possible solutions to her concerns,” states Ortiz.