Clash of the Clubs

Photo credit: Caitlin Allen

Think the stress of exec season is over? Think again. Big changes may be coming to the current TAMS club system.

Traditionally, official clubs receive a set amount of money at the beginning of the year based on the performance of the club in the previous year. However, there have been times in which some club execs accomplished less than those in former years. The money did not get used to its full potential and ended up being wasted.

Kevin Roden hopes to provide money for all clubs, organizations, and student projects. The money will be distributed based on the work of a club and its need.  With the new system, Kevin Roden says, “students will pitch for their idea and go through a presentation format to get money.” This process will be applied in the distribution of PAs. There will not be a set PA for a club. Instead, the PAs will be assigned on a project by project basis.

If you are wondering why these changes are being made, Roden says that in recent years he has seen an increase in entrepreneurial spirit at TAMS. “Our funding tended to track with the traditional model. But we started to think, is this system the best way? There are a plethora of unofficial clubs with new ideas, but they have no funding. Why not take money away that we are committing to folks and have a big pot of money? It incentivizes creativity and new ideas,” he says.

Indeed, many individuals have great ideas for startups, but because of the unofficial club label, they are unable to gain the funding they often need without aggressive fundraising. One such startup is EverCare Medical, a nonprofit organization started by juniors Alberto Him and Arun Yagnamurthy. According to Him, EverCare Medical needs $10,000 for their organization to help repair and provide supplies for Venezuelan hospitals. Although he is aware that TAMS does not have the funds to pay for the entire amount, Him says, “If TAMS could help us with funding, we can host events or charity concerts so we can raise all of money we need.”

“Official” and “unofficial” designate the way funding works, but with these new financial changes, the terms will be meaningless. Thus, Roden strongly wishes to completely remove the titles, thereby placing all clubs and organizations on equal ground. In addition, the rule that an individual can only be an exec of one official club will likely change due the removal of these labels.

Overall, understand  that Kevin Roden wants to improve the club system. He will not eliminate clubs, nor will he neglect the needs of any club. Remember, he does want all of the new junior execs to be involved in this decision. Nothing is set in stone, yet.

Let us know what you think about the new club changes in the comments below. On Monday, March 24th after curfew in Mac there will be a meeting to discuss these changes for all of the new junior execs!

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7 Comments

  • Aidan Young says:

    Is the March 24th meeting open to students?

  • Anthony Ye says:

    So the plan is to put all the club money in one budget? And applying for funding is done through a program advisor? Its not a bad idea if the process for getting funding is not too time consuming.

    For the one club rule, it can be changed to one registered club, as all clubs are required to register with student life staff, per the handbook.

  • A Concerned Senior says:

    Can you write an article about how execs for different clubs are selected by current execs (who are students themselves)? There are no elections, no positions to articulate by the candidates. Are the current execs objective? Does nepotism play a role? Is the selection based on qualifications or other factors (“friends”)?

    Since the entire exec selection process is “closed” and not transparent, perhaps iontams should examine the practice and expose its strengths and weaknesses. Thanks

    • Sylvia says:

      I am an alumnus, graduated three years ago. I support the idea of an article to self-examine the exec selection process. I thought I was the most qualified person to run a particular club. Yet, the job went to a complete incompetent person (whose only qualification was that the person knew how to suck-up to the current execs). This personal struggled because the person had no clue what to do.

      This is a dark-horse in TAMS. I would recommend that each club publish ahead of time how they are going to select the execs and follow the process. Rather than just announcing the execs, the current execs should articulate why a particular group of execs were chosen.

      Reform on this front is long overdue. We should strive to eliminate nepotism and stick to merit and experience in choosing execs. Someone should really write on article about this. Has the execs for 2014-2015 announced. Someone should examine the process and report. This will serve the TAMS community well.

  • Grand Senior says:

    This topic (reform of exec selection) is going to produce a lot of comments, especially since every graduating class had “victims” – people who deserved to be exec but lost out to less qualified people for various reasons.

    Current execs – you are going to graduate and leave. Who you choose can really have an impact on TAMS and its reputation. So put aside nepotism. Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and others take extraordinary measure to hire “A+” employees – the rationale is A+ employees will hire A+ employees. A B employee rarely hires an A employee, but prefers a B or a C employee.

    If you show nepotism, the person you promoted as an “exec” will show nepotism. (why would they hire the best candidate). This will degrade the quality of the organization over time.

    TAMSians are intelligent. People can easily see who is qualified and who is not. This is an aspect of
    TAMS that requires reform. Colleges use “holistic” process – they have qualified readers, counsellors
    and committees. This is not the ideal process. It works most of the time.

    At TAMS, 18 year olds (often 17 year olds) with very limited experience is promoting friends.
    This should be replaced by a sound and transparent process based on merit and experience. Not based
    on friendship and loyalty.

    IONTAMS – examine this year’s selections. An article should be written. This is a process without
    “checks and balances” – reporters, start with the selection of execs for IONTAMS.

  • A Disgruntled Alumnus says:

    If IONTAMS writes an article each year, (not just once), about the selection of execs,
    the process will become more streamlined and professional.

    At present, there are no checks and balances. Execs appoint their friends to positions.
    (if anyone says that is not the case, talk to people).

    Here is the process for IONTAMS.

    1) Get the list of all applications for exec positions from all clubs
    2) First talk to people on the list who did not get any position. Some will be “sour-grapes”,
    some will be legitimate complaints.
    3) Separate the legitimate complaints from noise. (You can easily verify the facts. Most
    are black and white, i..e., case where “I have 10 awards”, the exec has “Zero awards”).
    4) Ask the current execs who selected to explain their rationale.
    5) Report: Club X selected 5 execs: 2 based on merit. 3 were chosen based on
    “holistic” approach even though more qualified candidates applied for such positions.
    Examples of qualifications in question (relevant to the clubs). “A person who can not
    stand the sight of blood and wants to major in Aeronautical Engineering is the Vice President
    of TAMS Medical Society”. This person was selected over another who shadowed a doctor
    for three summers and performed emergency lobotomy on the current execs.

    If IONTAMS did this every year, the results would be fantastic. Can we start with IONTAMS
    execs?

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