New process for forming clubs started

As of the beginning of this year, the school is changing the way they evaluate new clubs and organizations.  Ms. Newgent, math teacher and staff sponsor of the student council said, the school is not trying to cut down on the number of clubs in total.

“The problem that we’ve run into is that students are starting clubs that are similar to other clubs that we have,” said Newgent.  According to Newgent, although it is student council’s job to approve the new clubs,  now “student council is spending most of their meetings dealing with new clubs.”

Heya Kaakeh’15 founded one of the clubs that has felt the effects of the new system.

“I applied to start the Science News Club, and Kelsy Towers-Jones applied to start the Young Researcher’s Club,” she said, “mine was going to be focused on current events in the science world and hers was going to be about helping a new group of students get into doing research at science fairs.”

Kelsey Towers-Jones leads the Young Researchers Club at a lunch time meeting

Kelsey Towers-Jones leads the Young Researchers Club at a lunch time meeting

“They ended up being combined because there were similarities in what we did and who was in them,” Kaakeh said.

“It makes sense I guess, because the school has to open new accounts for every club and everything,” said Kaakeh “and I’m just happy to see the club I wanted to start get going.”

Newgent said that when those clubs get started “we have to start new accounts if they’re school approved and then we have to evaluate them at the end of the year.”

“It’s just become a lot of work for us to monitor and do,”  said Newgent, “and what happens is that those students leave and then those clubs fall apart and they aren’t around next year and don’t have sponsors.”

As a result of the change in policy, clubs “can form them at the beginning of the year and then at the beginning of the semester, so it’s not all year long.  You can’t decide right now that you want to start a club with final exams coming up and all that,” Newgent said.

Additionally, Newgent said that the form to start new clubs has been changed.  “It used to be that just one person would submit it and now we are requiring that there is a minimum number of signatures so we can see that other students are interested,” she said.

There is also a process for deciding which clubs get to stay at the end of each year, according to Newgent, which has remained unchanged.

“We have a luncheon where the officers have to come to the meeting and they have to provide information about how many meetings they had and how many members they have,” Newgent said.

She also said that while failing that test one year would get a club disbanded, they could always reform and start the process again the next year if they wanted to do so.

The changes in club policy have not even been noticeable to everyone involved in school organizations.

Mr. Collins, who teaches Earth Spaces Sciences and sponsors the newly founded Astronomy club, said that he wasn’t aware of the new system when the group was formed.

“Anuj Patel’14 came to me and he asked if I would be willing to sponsor Astronomy club, and they took care of the whole process with applying for it and everything.  I said I was willing to be the sponsor and I wrote the call out announcement, but I wasn’t really involved in any politicking to get the club started.  All I had to do was say I was willing to be the sponsor,” he said.

The Astronomy Club has guest speakers come in from the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society and field trips to the planetarium, and potentially hands on activities to help members learn basic astronomy tools, according to Mr. Collins.

Mr. Collins said that he thinks that it makes sense to be more strict on starting organizations when sponsors leave, interest dies out, and members graduate.

“Let’s face it, some clubs die.  Some clubs fade out. There are some old clubs that used to exist.  We shouldn’t keep them on the books if they aren’t doing anything,”  Collins said.

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