|There is always a difference to be made.|
So I have been postponing this post until I had some better news, but considering we didn't really have a meeting this past Tuesday, I don't think that time of ease will be coming any time soon. So what's new?
We have lost our charter, we are canceling our big event, and We can no longer affliate ourselves with the LATTC Campus.
We may be wounded, but we're not down for the count.
Ugh. So I guess the uphill struggle began last friday but the club wasn't made aware of it until Monday. As we were prepping for our big event and making room for our Solarthon Training, our club Vice President announced that our reviewal for chartering was denied. We weren't the only ones affected, many other normal clubs were denied as well (what kind of world is it when the Computer Club can't exist?). Turns out, school policy requires the ASO to provide a $300 start up stipend to each new charter. We were under the assumption that the grant was merely $50; just enough to get us some seeds to sell. So when we found out that we were denied, it made a little more sense.
Though I am not particularly happy with their decision, I cannot say I blame them. California education has been strapped for a long time now. Our club was chartered the previous year but fell into disuse, so it also understandable why they would be hesitant to shell out funds.
That is not the issue I am having. It's not the financial backing we felt we needed, it's the support of our institution. Since we are not an official club, we are denied a lot of amenities of the typical student organization. Such as posting flyers, using classrooms, and more crucially, holding any kind of event on campus.
Yep. So our yet-to-be-named big event was incapacitated before we could get it off the ground, but not until we spent a great deal of effort gathering necessary materials. With a mere week left until the event and being denied campus space, we are pretty much forced to consider it in an indefinite suspension. Holding it on public space is looking more troublesome than it's worth at the moment since we lack the funds to acquire permits or the ability to raise enough awareness in such little time.
At this point we can no longer affiliate ourselves with Los Angeles Trade and Technical College. Not that it ultimately matters since it is merely a title, but I feel it could hinder a lot of opportunities for us- not to mention that I actually like my school and want to be a part of it's legacy. Where we once were able to be representatives of an excellent college, we are now forced to include it as a footnote. However great they may seem these obstacles are just challenges waiting to be outsmarted, and lessons learned from them will only strengthen our ability collectively.
So where does that leave us?
Well for starters we are still hungry to make a difference and raise awareness. Our drive is still going strong though their are many roadblocks. Just a couple of days ago a group of our members raised over $1000 and installed 17 panels on a very lovely elderly woman's home that will ultimately reduce her utilities bill by up to 98%. You can read more about that here! [Will update promptly! Thank you for reading early!]
We are capable, intelligent human beings that share a common goal of improving our community through sustainable efforts. We may have lost our name and our home, but our mission is clear. So for now we are a collective of like-minded individuals. We will continue to do the good we know that we can, and take fundraising into our own hands to do it.
So this is when I must ask you; If you have been reading this blog, or are finding this for the first time and you agree with us would you please subscribe? We, the blog contributors, promise not to bombard you with junk or spam and would NEVER give your email to any sort of list. By following this blog it allows us to truly know our base, as well as gives you the fan the ability to suggest ideas, pitch events, and participate with our progressions.
Once again, I must reiterate that I do not blame the ASO for their denial of our application. These ideas that we, The Sustainability Collective are dedicated to materializing, are not easy to abandon. So we can only prepare ourselves for the journey ahead. Nothing worth doing, (and I must add 'doing right') is easy. So with your help, and our combined ingenuity we can bring this club to the greatness we know it can be. We have already made a huge difference in one LA resident's life, we can't wait to do it again.
It's a bright future, we're excited to see what the new dawn brings.
This post was written by Ian Salamanca, webmaster and member of The Sustainability Collective.