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Credit: Luke Chen

The Civic House Associates Coalition, an umbrella organization for community service groups on campus, plans to restructure the way it governs next semester in a move aimed to address issues with the current system.

CHAC plans to dissolve its student executive board and instead set up a “Working Group for Leadership and Engagement,” which will collaborate to reflect on Civic House’s current leadership and programming structure and re-envision a future programming structure.

In past years, the CHAC executive board held three general body meetings annually for its 40 constituent groups and required those groups to report biweekly updates to CHAC executive liaisons. Last year, the executive board decided that the meetings were too impersonal and catered to topics that weren’t relevant to all of the groups present, and decided to switch to workshops that groups could choose to attend or not attend.

But “attendance was an issue” at the new workshops, said Amit Pujari, an Engineering senior and CHAC co-chair. “Groups weren’t getting the most out of our programming and Civic House’s presence was not as tangible.”

Civic House staff and the CHAC executive board hope that the new working group will create better learning programs and support systems for member groups.

“My hope is that in the next year, students will know what Civic House is and what we do, and feel like this is a community they want to identify with,” Civic House Associate Director Megan Forman said.

Civic House Director David Grossman said that while the student leadership structure is changing, funding and support for member groups will remain the same.

“The changes that are happening are organic, and are in response to conditions on the ground,” Grossman said. “We are re-evaluating what our student groups and community partners really need. But current member groups will pretty much have all of the resources they have gotten before.”

For members of CHAC constituent groups, the proposed changes are seen as helpful to making CHAC function more efficiently.

“CHAC’s updated structure for this upcoming semester won’t drastically impact the day to day operations of CSSP,” said college junior Filippo Bulgarelli, director of Community School Student Partnerships, a member group of CHAC. “While I very much appreciate the impact that CHAC’s workshops and events have had on me and my board in the past, and will certainly miss those opportunities, I believe that the opportunity for CHAC to rethink its structure will lead to a more effective CHAC.”

Civic House is accepting applications for the working group until Nov. 19.

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