As of April 2023, student organizations received emails that caught them by surprise. After a review of the Shapiro Campus Center, it was determined that any non-secured club that held an office space in the SCC would be removed and their spaces would be renovated into flexible meeting spaces available by reservation. These clubs were given only one month to clean out their office spaces without any guidance as to where they would store such items past the summertime. 

Members of this editorial board who are executive members of non-secured clubs have emphasized the lack of warning they were given about this transition. Many clubs spent money on office decorations and resources which had to be removed, and communication about further storage of these items have been contradictory. According to the  SCC website , a mid-term goal of this renovation is to “continue to increase storage for clubs and organizations.” However, people who are a part of multiple clubs received different emails regarding storage availability. 

One executive board member of two organizations said they were given a storage locker for one of their groups and told there was no availability for storage for the other. Club storage was also an extreme challenge during the fall 2023 involvement fair. Clubs needed to access their stored belongings and some had no way of getting into the Student Leadership Office, where their belongings were being held. 

In addition to the loss of office space, clubs this semester are facing significant budget reductions. Deepa Khatri, who oversees the financial operations for Brandeis’ undergraduate clubs, attributes these losses to exhausted pandemic funds. “spring 2020, spring 2021, and spring 2022 marathons saw higher than usual allocations, due to unspent funds as a result of a reduction of in-person programming … in spring 2023, Student Union Allocations Board returned to a more normal funding level as unspent funds were largely spent down over the past two to three years,” she wrote in an email to the Justice. 

While club leaders were notified of this anticipated shift in early February, their planning and operations this semester have been severely impacted. Valeria Ayala ’25, marketing chair for Campus Activities Board, states “We were affected by the budget reallocations, due to this we are unable to have a fall concert which we put together annually as a way to welcome new students and welcome back returning students. As for Springfest, we are budgeting to the best of our abilities but it is too early to tell.” 

Furthermore, Brandeis’ student yearbook club, Archon Yearbook, a secured club, was shut down this spring due to their lack of funding and time constraints without the consultation of the Student Union. 

From concerts, fashion shows, and galas, club leaders are left wondering how they can possibly host their events this year. Rashmil Wasim ’25, co-chair of Student Union Allocations Board, shared advice for clubs during this challenging transition period. “The biggest thing I would say to clubs as they adjust to these changes is to prioritize and get thrifty … Being thrifty via reusing supplies, finding discounts on Amazon, etc., can also make budgets go a lot further than they would otherwise.” A source from Waltham Group echoes Rashmil’s sentiments explaining that “We’re sharing our space for our training with the club leader training to save some money. One thing we’re making sure of this year is that every club in Waltham Group uses their whole budget.”  

Each year, as prospective students tour the Brandeis campus, student clubs are heavily advertised as a crucial part of our community. However, this downtrend of funding and club leaders scraping to get by is deeply concerning.