BYUSA sheds Red Cross

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    American Red Cross Club members are upset after being dropped from BYUSA sponsorship to be a department club

    “BYUSA is currently going through a cleansing process that includes dropping clubs that are not aligned with the goals of BYUSA,” said Jared Chapman, a coordinator in Student Leadership.

    Chris Heaton, an American Red Cross Club member, said, “Just recently, BYUSA said that they would no longer accept clubs that are affiliated with any outside organization, including the Red Cross.”

    This cleansing process is due to the inappropriate assignment of clubs in BYUSA.

    “Over time, a small number of clubs have entered BYUSA that are outside our stewardship,” Chapman said. “The American Red Cross Club is an example of this.”

    The Red Cross Club, which joined BYUSA in the Summer 2003, feels BYUSA treated them wrongly in this situation, Heaton said.

    “They’ve dropped our club a number of times,” Heaton said.

    The re-evaluation of BYUSA approval that the American Red Cross Club went through consisted of two separate evaluations.

    “There were two issues with the Red Cross Club,” Chapman said. “The first issue was allowing BYUSA to be a good neighbor to other clubs by not sponsoring a competing club to exist. The second issue dealt with the fact that a BYUSA club cannot represent [BYU] by affiliating with an outside organization.”

    Evaluation of the issue of competing with another club started with the American Red Cross Club asking to talk with different departments on campus to ensure that they were not interfering with another club, Heaton said.

    “Vaughn Bearry, former president of the Red Cross Club, went to the College of Health and Human Performance to see if they were in conflict with another club,” Heaton said.

    “General idea is that Vaughn talked with [a professor] and [he] said that he didn’t see any reason for us to teach a CPR class since he already had one,” Heaton said.

    According to Heaton, the professor then went to BYUSA in Fall 2003 and asked that the club be removed from BYUSA.

    BYUSA denies this happened and argues that they contacted the professor for other reasons and that is when they were informed of this conflict.

    “That is absolutely untrue,” Chapman said. “I contacted the College of Health and Human Performance in hopes of finding a new home for the Red Cross Club, since they were involved with an outside organization and could no longer be affiliated with BYUSA.”

    BYUSA contacted a professor in this college and he expressed his concern about the American Red Cross Club, Chapman said.

    “As I started calling around trying to find them a better home, I had a conversation with [a professor],” he said. “This professor communicated his desire that they not be hosted by his group, and even questioned them being hosted on campus at all.

    During my conversation with [the professor] he said ‘we do not want them in our department.'”

    The professor also expressed his concerns about the resources the American Red Cross Club provided. The club’s CPR service competed with a resource that the professor already provided, Chapman said.

    “We are not trying to compete,” he said. “It is a better use of [BYU’s] resources and provides students better services to not duplicate services provided elsewhere on campus.”

    Concerns for competing programs along with personal feelings of the American Red Cross Club’s inability to properly train were addressed to BYUSA.

    “[The professor] felt like the American Red Cross training is inferior and doesn’t belong on campus,” Chapman said.

    The faculty adviser of the American Red Cross Club disagrees with the comment of inferiority.

    “I’ve been very impressed with the leadership and members of the club,” said Ray Merrill, an associate professor in the College of Human Health and Performance and faculty advisor for the American Red Cross Club. “I think they are doing a great service to the community.”

    The American Red Cross Club tried negotiating with this professor and BYUSA. They agreed with a short-term resolution.

    “We compromised that as long as they stopped teaching the certifications that we could start moving towards a resolution of this process,” Chapman said.

    “With this resolution, the Red Cross Club was reinstated and continued to reside as a BYUSA affiliated club for approximately six months after the initial evaluation,” Heaton said. “In April of this year, we were informed that we would be dropped again from BYUSA.”

    BYUSA’s second problem with this club started from their affiliation with an outside organization, which is against the rules.

    “This club was creating a partnership with an off-campus organization, which a BYUSA club cannot do,” Chapman said.

    The reason for dropping the club, according to a club member, is not because of an established rule.

    “The reason they gave us was that there was just too much hassle in dealing with any off-campus affiliated club, too much liability if they do something wrong,” Heaton said.

    The reasoning behind addressing the club twice on issues of inconsistency with BYUSA rules dealt with priority.

    “We addressed the clubs that conflicted with other clubs first, and then evaluated clubs that are affiliated with off campus organizations,” Chapman said.

    Heaton, however, does not see the issue as two separate problems. He feels the issues started because of one faculty member’s opinion of the club.

    “I think they gave a lot higher priority to one professor’s opinion, than to one of their club’s,” Heaton said.

    “[Chapman] had already made his decision before the issue with the professor begun,” said Sarah Gardner, BYUSA executive vice president of clubs.

    Dealing with the club on two separate occasions and not allowing the club to continue its affiliation with BYUSA while affiliated with the American Red Cross turned out to be an unjust decision in the opinion of one member. “I feel it’s unjust, but understandable,” Heaton said. “I feel that there are a lot of things that we could do for good in the BYU community if we are affiliated with an outside organization. But I don’t make the rules.”

    BYUSA stands behind their final decision.

    “As a person who represent the students and the clubs, because of what I’ve seen and because of my experience, I am not going to get on the line and say that I think Red Cross should be a [BYUSA] club,” Gardner said. “Because I don’t think they should.”

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