Increase in Identity Groups Seeking Recognition

According to Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove, there has been “sharp increase” in the last two years in the number of of student groups interested in being recognized as official student organizations that are centered around ethnicity or national, regional or state affiliation. Cosgrove says her office is trying to deal with this rise in student groups seeking recognition in a “fair and equitable” way by encouraging these new groups to collaborate with existing student organizations and by creating an events fund that would allow the groups to apply for funding for special events.

Cosgrove called the issue a “zero sum game” because there is a limited pool of money that the Law School allocates for student organizations and the greater the number of student organizations, the smaller each organization’s budget will be. Instead of recognizing and allocating money to more student organizations, Cosgrove said her office will try to provide funds for new identity groups to apply to the specific types of events they are interested in.

The DOS site on how to create a new student organization reads, in part, “In general, groups formed on the basis of a state or regional affiliation will not be granted student organization status. If you are interested in forming a state or regional group, please send an e-mail to the Dean of Students Office (dos@law), we may be able to assist with an event that celebrates a state or regional area that is not currently covered by our existing organizations.”

Director of Student Affairs Meg DeMarco said that Student Government and DOS works collaboratively to develop a set of criteria to determine which groups should be recognized and allocated funding.

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