Yoga Club received probationary status at the Student Federation meeting March 11.
Student Federation President Brandt Siegfried said the new club, like all clubs seeking to be recognized by the college, first begins with a one-semester trial period called probation.
“We don’t want to create a bunch of new clubs that then fall out of existence,” Siegfried said. “Every new club that comes to the college needs to prove to the community that it’s here to stay and make a lasting contribution.”
Junior Jade Juniper, founder of the club, said she became a certified yoga teacher over the summer and wanted to start an official club at Hillsdale to lead students through yoga postures, discuss yogic philosophy, and promote stress management.
“A lot of people who are in the yoga class don’t necessarily want to be doing it for credit,” Juniper said. “They just want a place to relax and connect with their peers.”
Student Federation Treasurer Isabella Maciejewski said some Christian communities on campus might see yoga as spiritually dangerous.
Juniper said the club does not have a religious goal.
“It’s about mindfulness, which doesn’t have to be a religious practice,” Juniper said. “It’s about movement and physical health, and I intend to keep it that way, without taking a stance on religion.”
Juniper said she would use funding from the federation to pay for liability insurance to teach, which is $200 a year.
Clubs with full status require approval from at least half of the federation to receive funding, but clubs on probation need two-thirds of the federation’s approval to receive funding, Student Federation Vice President and Club Oversight Committee Chairman Thomas McPhee said.
After the probationary semester, the leaders of the yoga club will give a progress update to the federation on membership and event attendance, Siegfried said.
“All the yoga club has to do is come back and show what they’ve been up to and they will have full status with the college,” Siegfried said.