Students question effectiveness of Club Rush

March 30, 2017 — by Patrick Li and Navin Tiwary

When Common Roots co-presidents seniors Aarya Mecwan and Saya Sivaram sat down to discuss possible food options to sell at Club Rush, they both agreed that they needed to find an option that was accessible to both vegetarians and meat-eaters. After an elimination process, the two decided on selling McDonald’s French fries — they were small, affordable and sure to appeal to hungry high schoolers.

However, little did they know just how appealing their French fries would be. According to Sivaram, on the day of Club Rush, which took place on March 17, the pair both scrambled to keep up with the high demand that they were not prepared for.

The challenge to make a suitable profit from Club Rush is one that has clubs struggling. This tradition started out as “Club Sweep” in 2013 by then-clubs commissioner Tiffany Yung and has gradually evolved into Club Rush. While some popular clubs on campus leave Club Rush with large profits, many smaller clubs do not reap the benefits that they hope for.

For Common Roots, while French fries originally seemed like a good idea, the club found it hard to coordinate logistics, such as container sizes, transportation and heating. Mecwan and Sivaram both said the profit they gained from Club Rush was insignificant compared to the amount of preparation that went into the event.

“I don’t think that the profit that we made from Club Rush was worth the amount of trouble we went through,” Sivaram said. “The preparation for the event was very lengthy and strenuous, and we didn’t even make a significant enough sum to really help our club.”  

Similarly, junior Tristan Xiao, who is the co-president of Science Club, said Club Rush often proves to be a struggle for his club

“I think that if you don’t have the ‘best food,’ then a lot less people will be willing to come to your table,” Xiao said. “In that way, Club Rush is difficult because we need to make sure we know exactly what students want.”

According to Mecwan and Xiao, a large reason clubs struggle to earn money from the event is that there are so many other similar foods that students can buy. For instance, pearl milk tea (PMT), the most frequently sold product, quickly loses its glamour when it is placed next to several other PMT fundraisers by other clubs and organizations throughout the school year.

“Since there are just too many kinds of the same food, we have to resort to more inconvenient food options, which in this case was french fries for our club,” Mecwan said.

However, according to senior Devin Fleharty, co-president of Linguistics Club, clubs that choose to come up with new and innovative ideas have the possibility of attracting more students. Looking through unique food options while planning for Club Rush, Fleharty and his officers  created an “ice cream waffle,” which essentially consisted of toaster waffles topped with various ice cream flavors. To his surprise, because of the easy assembling of the treat and its “out-of-the ordinary” element, a fair number of students purchased food from his booth.

Nonetheless, Xiao said that Club Rush is beneficial for gaining exposure. Even though Club Day, which takes place in the beginning of the school year, serves as an effective way to attract students to sign up, many students become unaware of what events or projects certain club is in charge of later throughout the year.

The biggest payoff may be that through Club Rush, students have additional opportunities to learn more about clubs that they are interested in.

“I think more important than the amount of money raised at Club Rush is the fact that the event brings us a lot of new club members,” Xiao said.


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