Small clubs don’t gain big points with colleges

October 20, 2009 — by Aanchal Mohan

True or false: Being in charge of a club will increase your chances on getting into a top college? To the people’s dismay, the answer is false.

This misconception has instigated many students to create new clubs on campus, forcing the Associated Student Body (ASB) to go as far as placing restrictions, such as the requirement of 20 members for a club to officially exist. As a result, numerous previously existing clubs are under the risk of being cut, resulting in complaints from their respective leaders.

But why are they complaining? Does having their club name on the official school profile of clubs really make a difference? It shouldn’t, as there are few academic benefits in having your name on the official club roster.

According to assistant principal Karen Hyde, none of the three students accepted at Stanford last year were in charge of clubs. Out of all the requirements needed to get into college, being in charge of one club, especially one small in size, is not going to sway admissions officers at elite schools.

But just because the ASB has decided that a club is not “popular” enough to be official doesn’t mean that the goals and processes of the organization must come to a screeching halt. If anything, the lack of school approval would make a club easier to run.

By being unofficial, a club does not require an adviser, thus saving both members and teachers time and stress. There is no need to nitpick the level of productivity at every weekly meeting. The club can meet whenever everyone is free and wherever they want.

The sudden influx of new clubs is also causing a lot of stress around campus. Since there are numerous club meetings daily, schedules inevitably clash, making it difficult for students wanting to belong to more than one club to make it to all the meetings.

The school does not need more small clubs but instead needs clubs that engage a significant portion of the student body. By having so many clubs, the school puts students in the place of joining clubs that they think will look better on their college applications, rather than based on what interests them. The purpose of a club is not to serve as a filler extracurricular activity, but to serve as a place where students are able to express their opinions and to make a difference for those who are in need.

Just because the ASB is cutting recognized clubs does not mean that the club can’t survive. Instead, all activities can continue without official recognition, and who knows, perhaps come next year, enough student interest will accumulate to make the organization official.

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