by Catie Matson
Thelmo plans to propose a new solution to help student organizations through the event registration process.
“Students often don’t know who to contact to plan events,” Robby Glass ’13 said. “They don’t know the policies, and often they learn about the process through upperclassmen students that have gone through it before.”
Thelmo has been working on changing the event registration process since last year. Vice President of Student Affairs Josh Lashway ’13 organized a white tent party last spring. The event was used as a case study, and he found the registration process to be challenging. During the registration, Lashway and Glass worked at getting to the root of every issue and understanding the different aspects.
“There is such a heavy drinking culture, and though people say they don’t take part, it is a reality. There needs to be a system. Students need to know how to register events to make it safer for other students,” Melanie Solandt ’12 said. Solandt worked on the consultation project that aimed to make the registration process more effective. She helped research other schools and gather information from students on campus.
The proposal primarily focuses on paying T.I.P.S. monitors, working to mend the dining service agreement and creating a guide that helps students understand the process of registering an event.
Solandt understands that some elements of the process should work, but in reality there are many things that come up unexpectedly that people are not prepared to handle.
“One of our recommendations is to create a strategic map of everything that might be needed to plan an event, such as registration forms, contact information for the different departments and what will be needed based on the type of event.”
Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Amy Calapa agrees that the process could benefit from some type of guide. Registering for an event does have its issues, but it is not a system that should tell organizers what to do every step of the way because every event is different.
“There is a guide online, but it does not seem that students are utilizing the resource,” Calapa said.
According to Solandt, the proposal has suggested other ideas such as creating a fast pass for events that have previously gone through all the registration steps. This would be for events that are in good standing from the previous year.
Another issue that Thelmo is trying to address is inconsistencies with T.I.P.S. monitors. On multiple occasions, T.I.P.S. monitors have acted irresponsibly while on duty. There have been incidents of T.I.P.S. monitors accepting bribes of alcohol.
“There have been times that T.I.P.S. monitors have been the ones that caused the problems,” Solandt said. “For example, during the Jell-O wrestling event one of the T.I.P.S. monitors jumped into the Jell-O pit and broke his collar bone.”
“It is difficult to find a T.I.P.S. monitor willing to volunteer their time on a weekend and deal with drunk people,” Danzel Blash ’13, current T.I.P.S. monitor, said. “If we were to be paid, it would be a job, not just a volunteer position.” Blash became a T.I.P.S. monitor to help with the white tent party in the spring of last year. Many students go through training because they are part of an organization that is planning an event that needs T.I.P.S. monitors. After their organization’s event, few assist other groups.
Many students, including Blash, agree that if T.I.P.S. monitors were paid it would be a strong incentive toward taking responsibilities seriously.
During alcohol-registered events, food must be provided by SLU dining services. This has caused issues among groups when trying to budget an event. According to Glass, the Outing Club spent close to $800 in food for their Halloween party. This is very expensive and was not in the OC’s original budget plan. They struggled last minute to find the funds through Thelmo. One resolution the student government organization is considering is a separate budget specifically to pay T.I.P.S. monitors and dining services.
“I think listening to the student body and knowing what they need to help with the registration process is important,” Calapa said. “I don’t want to create a rigid system that stunts students’ creativity, but there is room for change that can be beneficial.”