The Difficulties of Starting a Club

Benjamin White ‘23

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In the month of October, Ridge High School freshman Andrew Szabo was planning to start the Casual Debate Club. The purpose of this club was to enhance debating skills in a laid back manner without the pressure of a high stakes debate, unlike the pressure associated with Ridge Forensics and its many competitions. A teacher had already accepted the role as an advisor. With paperwork completed, all that needed to happen was the club being accepted by the school. Unfortunately, things took went downhill, as the club never formalized. The given rationale? It was too similar to Ethics Club.

 

To those who do not know, creating a club is a lot more complicated than it seems. It takes a lot of work, and that work does not come to fruition if a club appears to be too similar to another. A disappointed Szabo stated, “We are going to try again next year as hard as we can to produce a club in which people can get together and discuss any topic of their collective choice. We believe it is very important for students to express their beliefs and have them questioned in a civil manner.” If a club does not get accepted, it needs to be remodeled and changed by the student in order to get a second chance. That would not be an issue if not for the fact that the second chance will come by next year at the earliest. The chance to be a leader gets pushed to the next year if a club seems too similar to an existing one.

 

There are over one hundred clubs in Ridge High School that lend the opportunity for every student to discover a new hobby or flourish in an existing one. Unfortunately, the downside of so many choices results in situations where a student is unable to differentiate from other clubs.The process of creating a club involves coming up with an idea, finding a teacher to host the club, making sure the club is not controversial in any way, and then requesting paperwork in the main office to officialize the club. That last step has proven to be the toughest challenge and single-handedly delays clubs by a year at a time. Of course, that process is beneficial to  the school, as it ensures that Ridge is not overflowing with multiple clubs containing the same idea. Still, that does not make it any easier to accept defeat, and wait a year just to get a second chance to officialize a club.

 

The deadline for new clubs to be created has now ended. There are over one hundred clubs still available in the school to join, and every student has their own chance to participate in one. To those who are looking to start a new club, learn about these many of existing clubs. Understand that being too similar to any of those clubs can result in lack of board approval. Students have the chance to plan and to research in order to prepare for next year. Sometimes, it’s just tough to have to wait until next year. Until then, find a club you enjoy if you have not already. And maybe next year, a reformed Casual Debate Club could peak your interest.

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