SORC, or the Student Organization Resource Council, is one of several facets of student leadership here at Seattle Central. Functioning as a middle-man between college facilities and student organizations, SORC reviews new club applications, funding requests and event proposals before approving them. Whether it’s planning a large event or tabling in the halls, SORC is the go-to liason for clubs to promote themselves and function within the college. Along with all of student leadership, they are gearing up for an involved year, starting with Welcome Week.
SORC board members are each assigned to clubs at the beginning of Fall quarter each year, and are responsible for club-college relations as well as day to day inquiries about student organizations. One to one meetings with faculty advisors, attending monthly club meetings and operating the front desk to answer questions are all part of students’ duties as a board member. During Welcome Week, SORC will be assisting in info-roving; walking around the college with iPads and pamphlets of information for incoming students.
Standing as one of the work-study opportunities within the college, SORC has impacted many students lives, like Fatim Fofana, a returning second-year board member and SORC Commissioner. “Working with SORC has been amazing for me,” Fofana says. “I have learned so much in one year and I have grown a lot. SORC gave me the opportunity to [learn] leadership skills, be comfortable speaking in front of others and making some important decisions.” Fofana had the opportunity to chair several meetings in the past academic year, including co- facilitating a workshop at the 2019 Winter retreat.
As a SORC commissioner, Fofana’s responsibilities include working with other student leadership boards as well as maintaining good relationships with the clubs under her purview. “[We] collaborate with other boards such as the College Activities Board (CAB) for the organization of different events [like] Lunar New Year and Unity Fair,” she says. “SORC and CAB work a lot together because both boards organize events, we are like brothers and sisters and we help each other.”
Commissioners communicate with their various clubs mainly through email, but they are given opportunities to meet clubs that they assist everyday through events like recruitment presentations, Unity Fair and the newly revived Student Involvement Fair. “This year, SORC is bringing back the Student Involvement Fair, which is a day where every club is required to table for at least an hour,” Fofana says. Brought back by SORC faculty advisor Jacob Chin, the Student Involvement Fair will be once every quarter, and is designed to promote clubs and encourage student participation in campus life. “The duration of the fair is 4 hours[…]We just want to bring our clubs together and give them the opportunity to recruit new members, talk directly with students and faculty about their activities and their clubs in general,” she says.
SORC also hopes to draw attention to hidden gems of student support starting this quarter. “I wish they knew about our funding process. A lot of students are aware of SORC but they do not know we can provide funding for their different activities and events,” she says. Students can also request money from SORC to execute a fundraiser, and the money goes directly into clubs’ accounts. “In addition to that, our office is open to everyone and we have a big screen available for them to use. They should take advantage of that and can request the SORC room for their different meetings.”
Fofana is hopeful for this upcoming year, and SORC has set ambitious goals for itself to center student organizations at Seattle Central in participation and diversity. “SORC gave me knowledge about funding and budget[ing] and helped me to work better as a team with a diverse group of students,” Fofana says. She mentions how SORC takes having a culturally diverse team very seriously, and stresses the importance of this in her academic and professional career. “SORC is like my second family and I am so grateful to be part of this wonderful team.”