New clubs struggle through initiation process

March 1, 2011 — by Will Edman

At the start of the year Saratoga High boasted 62 ASB-recognized clubs at the start of the school year, a number that continues to rise.

Many clubs have grown at fast rates and have become mainstays on campus, but all were fledgling organizations at one time, and the creation and maintenance of success of a club at its advent is often overlooked. Club creators must not only create unique ideas for potential clubs, but also execute these ideas among schoolwork and extracurricular activities while attracting members at the same time.

The ordeal of creating a club was braved this year by junior Ashley Tang, who created the Asian Culture Club along with fellow juniors Kevin Hsieh and Courtney Hsu. Often, the largest obstacle in creating a club is to find an idea that is not already used, but Tang had no trouble with this.

“In the beginning of the year, I noticed that there were clubs like Indian club and Persian club on campus, but no Asian club, even though we make up a large percentage of the students here,” Tang said.

In order to become an official ASB-sponsored club, students must find a teacher adviser and present their idea to the ASB officers, and the club is subsequently voted on at an ASB meeting. If the new club passes this vote, it is placed on a one month trial period where it must maintain at least 20 members. If the ASB determines that the club is productive, it will recognize it as an official club.

Sophomore Sasan Saadat, who created the KESOE (keeping endangered species on Earth) club with fellow sophomore Priscilla Chu, found the club creation and recognition process to be a challenge.

“It was tough to make sure we had enough ideas for the club,” Saadat said. “Also, since we are underclassmen, it was hard to get upperclassmen and even people in our grade to help support us. Even now, it is difficult to stir up interest.”

To attract new members and capture the essence of the club at the same time, Tang said that Asian Club often offers Asian cuisine at meetings.

“Because this is just the first year of Asian Club, we’re starting small but we hope to expand in the future,” Tang said. “In the past we have talked about different countries in Asia, their different cultures, and have recognized a few holidays special to those countries.”

Saadat employs a different strategy in gaining success. “Our main goal is to help raise money to support endangered species, so we discuss fundraiser ideas during meetings.”

Although the clubs were a challenge to create and maintain at the start, both club creators said that now that they are established, their work is much simpler.

“Now that we’ve executed our first wristband fundraiser, we can look forward to gaining exposure and being successful,” Saadat said.

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