By Annie Xiao
Brooklyn Tech has instituted a new SGO card policy, effective November 2012. Under the new policy, students pay a single transaction fee to collect clubs credits for the rest of high school. Freshman dues are $25, sophomore dues are $20, junior dues are $10, and senior grade dues are included in the senior dues packages.
“It is a requirement for the teens to have SGO cards to graduate,” said Joseph Kaelin, the Coordinator of Student Activities. Students need 32 club or team credits to get a Brooklyn Tech Diploma, and these cards ensure that they receive those credits.
Tech sells SGO cards in order to fund its clubs and teams.
At the beginning of the each school year, every club or team submits a budget request, often based on the number of SGO card holding members.
“Each club has different budget needs,” said Kaelin. The budget each club receives depends on the number of members and the specific purpose of the club.
Previously, students had to buy a new $10 SGO card annually. Kaelin explained, “We are looking for a way to make the process easier for the students involved. Each year, it was a problem for students. People forgot where it was. They misplaced it.”
Maesha Meto ’13 found the system used when she was a freshman to be inconvenient. “It used to be that all we’d need to purchase was this little $5 card that listed the clubs we did that year and how many credits we’d received. You had to personally go to each club and have the advisor sign off on your card. It was too much of a hassle.”
The new policy is simple. After students pay their dues at the GO Store in 7C5, the staff scans their ID cards. The computer system will then have a record of that student purchasing their SGO card. The staff will then attach a small, laminated square sticker with the Brooklyn Tech logo onto the back of the ID card to show proof of purchase.
In the past, when students lost their SGO card, they would have to buy a new one. Now if students lose their ID card with the attached sticker, they will not need to repay their SGO dues. Students just need to buy a new ID and visit the GO store for another sticker.
“Now it is less easy to lose a SGO card,” said Kaelin.
“I definitely support the improved system in regards to the sticker on your ID card. They’ve made it more convenient for those who do lose it and money isn’t wasted,” Meto remarked.
Brian Mason ’13 also agrees with these improvements. “I think the policy is pretty good. I hear from my friends in other schools that they have to pay a lot more money. It’s a really good deal for the freshmen too. I don’t [think] people will think it’s a deal though.”
Jia Liu ’16 said, “It’s expensive. I don’t think anyone is going to buy it. For freshmen, it should be free, because they just came into the school. The next year, I could pay $5.”
“I don’t think the clubs even use the money. I think the club admins just use it for themselves,” Liu continued to say.
Emma Costa ’14 addressed both the positive and negative aspects of the new system. “I think the new SGO card policy is good, but does need some work. It is much cheaper for freshmen to purchase the SGO card since they only have to pay $25 for all four years in total, whereas in the old policy, we were required to pay $40 for all four years. Juniors who paid $20 in the past two years have to pay $10 for the next year and a half. Seniors have to pay the most since they paid $30 in the past three years and then there is an additional fee included in their senior dues. While $30 is much cheaper than the original $40, I don’t find it really fair that we have to pay more,” Costa said.
Meto offered a different view. “As for the juniors and us [seniors], it’s not a big deal. I appreciate that they’re trying to better the system though.”
Costa concluded, “Despite that fact, working in the GO store has shown me that the new policy has been received relatively well, even by juniors, and with no complaints.”
The new SGO cards are currently available in the GO store for purchase.