Even small clubs deserve a place

October 27, 2009 — by Emily Williams

With an apparently staggering number of clubs on campus, the ASB has sought means to tighten the reins on club procedures. The excess number of student organizations is being combated by reinstating regulations, such as a necessary minimum of members.

The intention is to slow down the formation of new clubs, and check-in on existing clubs to make sure that clubs are actually meeting the standards.

The guidelines have always been there but have been strictly enforced in recent times, much to the dismay of board members of less popular clubs. School policy requires each club to not only have a teacher to act as an adviser but a minimum of 20 members. Though the teacher rule may be justifiable, it is ridiculous to require the presence of 20 members. How is this fair, when universities who have tens of thousands of students accept the creation of any new club of three or more people? In contrast, our comparatively small high school will obviously not always muster an entire 20 students to care enough about the same matter.

The justification of these rules all depends on the definition of a club. If the school’s definition is a group who share a common interest and benefit themselves or the school in some way, then the rule about 20 people is unfair to small yet equally important clubs. These clubs hold meetings and care about the topic they are commonly united by even if the subject might not be a very common one.

By contrast, some big clubs that attract a lot of people might not be as valuable to the school. Big clubs tend to have people joining them just because their friends join, and it makes it harder to get things done and the club becomes more of a social gathering than a group that benefits the school. In addition to the big group gatherings, people tend to create clubs to make their resume look better. The school seems to assume that all small clubs are made purely for the purpose of resume building, but there are small clubs that are made because people have a passion for what they do, not just to make the president look better to colleges.

The real issue lies not in the quality and not the quantity of clubs. There seems to be an overabundance of clubs geared toward college and future careers. As they say, we are only young once. Students should take some time just to live in the moment and do something because they find it enjoyable, and not only to prepare themselves for the future.

It shouldn’t be necessary for every club to have a distinct purpose every step of the way; sometimes, the greatest benefits are invisible until after the fact. Clubs are simply groups of people united by a common interest and by the unique experience of belonging to the same cause. They are a great form of interaction for students who would otherwise never even speak to each other, branching out across grade and social barriers. In a way, any club is ultimately a social experience, no matter what type of club it is.

The new policies may in the end do more harm than good, so cracking down on rules at this point has little purpose. Small new clubs cause little strain on the school budget or safety, so there is absolutely no reason to deny students this important outlet.