Clubs provide the perfect opportunity for students to explore interests outside of athletics and the classroom. However, the system for clubs is flawed. Students and faculty must work together to reform the current attitude towards as well as procedure for clubs.
The success of any organization or club stems from it’s leadership. Leaders of successful clubs were driven throughout the year to accomplish their goals and motivated other club members to do the same. Failing clubs, which, unfortunately, accounts for the majority of clubs offered in the past, lacked the leadership that is necessary to organize their club and work towards their purpose.
In order for a club to be established in the first place, the current leaders should present a viable way to pass leadership onto younger students in the future. Many clubs only last a year or two because juniors and seniors start them, but don’t focus on the lasting legacy of a club. For clubs that are based on charity organizations, it’s difficult to reach a goal or make a significant change in just one year. If students are really focused on making that change, they should care enough to ensure the club will continue to run after they leave ASL.
Another crucial aspect of successful clubs and their leaders is passion for the club. Too many founders wish to start a club merely for the right to say they did so. As a result of the constant pressure derived from college applications in the High School environment, too many clubs have originated for the sole purpose of improving one’s resumé instead of working towards the actual purpose of the club.
This saturation of inactive clubs creates a difficult environment for students looking to join a club. Under the current circumstances, it remains just as hard for students to join a genuinely active club as it is to be a productive member within one. Students often are left confused by what clubs actually work consistently to achieve their goals and others that serve only to improve one’s university prospects.
At their core, clubs serve to provide students with an opportunity to pursue interests outside of the classroom, and manifest themselves in many different clubs. Many clubs at our school serve to support charity organizations, a motive that is very sound. However, when students are creating clubs left and right, they will inevitably have fewer members and a less-established structure. If a student has a great idea and a way to make a change, instead of going through the administrational tasks of creating a club and working to find members, the student should join a pre-existing club. Thus, they can focus on getting their ideas heard and making the change they want to see with the help of an already established organization.
The new club fair should alleviate some of the confusion surrounding clubs. Compared to the previous assemblies, where upwards of 40 clubs described themselves in a terse and vague manner, students should be able to obtain a greater understanding of the purpose of each club as well as their dedication. As a result, the club fair will allow students to find clubs they care about and will contribute to.
A more regimented system for operating clubs is desperately needed. Along with the club fair, a form in order to lead a club proves a step in the right direction, but the form itself fails to match the detail and commitment necessary for running a club. It’s a simple form that still allows most – even those who don’t intend to maintain a club throughout the year to start one. Clubs should also be required to meet more than once a month. The requirements to operate a club should be matched with similar intensity to start a club. In turn, this will increase the accountability of club founders as well as the quality of clubs overall.
Throughout the year clubs must be monitored by their advisers so that if they wish to return the following year there is a clear understanding of how they will continue if they succeeded and how they would change if the club proved inconsistent and unsuccessful.
Clubs can provide immense value to student life and the community. Greater leadership among the student body as well as changes to the clubs procedure would improve the quality of clubs overall.