The Rubicon

STAFF EDITORIAL: Truth in advertising: prioritize student clubs

CUTTING+CLUBS.+The+administration+needs+to+protect+club+meeting+times+on+Thursday+X-periods+so+clubs+can+perform+the+meaningful+role+they+are+designed+to+for+students%2C+the+school%2C+and+the+community.
CUTTING CLUBS. The administration needs to protect club meeting times on Thursday X-periods so clubs can perform the meaningful role they are designed to for students, the school, and the community.

CUTTING CLUBS. The administration needs to protect club meeting times on Thursday X-periods so clubs can perform the meaningful role they are designed to for students, the school, and the community.

Melissa Nie

Melissa Nie

CUTTING CLUBS. The administration needs to protect club meeting times on Thursday X-periods so clubs can perform the meaningful role they are designed to for students, the school, and the community.

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Student-led clubs offer a unique opportunity to meet and share common interests or beliefs. Ideally, clubs are a consistent activity that allows members to meet weekly and execute the goals of the club. However, this year that has not been the case. With clubs meetings rarely and on inconsistent days, they lack unity. This needs to change.

The school has guidelines pertaining to clubs and meetings. The Upper School Handbook states: “The school offers a diverse range of clubs, organizations and committees for students. Students are invited to participate in those which reflect their interests. The periods from 9:25 to 10:10 on Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for these meetings.”

However, countless times this year the Thursday x-periods reserved for student-led clubs have often been replaced with other events, or have had required attendance at something else that makes it impossible for all members to attend their club.

SPA prominently advertises the strength of clubs to prospective students and families, but clubs don’t seem to be as big of a priority to the administration as they are advertised to be.

On the SPA website Clubs and Organizations page, it is again stated that “[t]hese groups are important pieces of the student experience, and time is set aside every week during X-period for groups to meet.”

Inconsistent meeting times have made it difficult for clubs to organize their members and events, and many clubs have inadvertently been reduced to simple discussion groups or social opportunities.

While it is important for clubs to foster a friendly environment, most clubs have intended purposes.

With the administrative restructuring next year, now serves as the perfect time for both the administration and the student club leaders to reevaluate the student-led clubs system.”

With the administrative restructuring next year, now serves as the perfect time for both the administration and the student club leaders to reevaluate the student-led clubs system.

Clubs should include a service component in their charter. One of the greatest strengths of a club is its ability to unite students’ shared values and interests. While there are currently loose guidelines encouraging service hour requirements, having clubs connect their members to specific club-based service opportunities would be a proactive way for clubs to stay alive. Even if a club is not explicitly a social justice or affinity group, there are plenty of opportunities clubs to mobilize its members.

Second, Thursday X-periods should be reserved as a time for clubs to meet, and not be pushed back in favor of other events. Like Fridays are reserved for Senior Speeches, clubs deserve the same priority. Club members should be able to depend on a weekly meeting time in order to ensure the survival of the club.

Finally, club leaders should develop clear goals and an agenda for the year, and have structured meetings in order to maximize efficiency and ensure that the full potential of their club is reached.

If SPA advertises clubs as being “important pieces of the student experience,” now is the time to ensure that is true by prioritizing Thursday meeting times and setting more specific charters for new and existing clubs.

This post was originally published in the April issue of The Rubicon.

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About the Photographer
Melissa Nie, Feature Editor

Melissa Nie is the Feature Editor at RubicOnline. This is her third year on staff. When she was little, she would constantly write short stories about dinosaurs and unicorns. This lifelong love for writing led her to become a journalist. In addition to Melissa’s role on the staff, she loves to draw, garden, and gush about her cat, Coffee. Melissa can be reached at rubicon.spa@gmail.com.

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