East’s activities office pushes back after a steady increase in club creation and decrease in participation

East’s activities office pushes back after a steady increase in club creation and decrease in participation

East prides itself on the plethora of clubs offered within its halls; 108 to be exact. While it is fulfilling to join a club that interests students, a recent concern has presented itself. Too often a club lies dormant with no way to revive itself; if its advisors are inactive, the previous board graduated and new board was not appointed. Perhaps, the greatest problem is the transparency and rules regarding renewal of club leadership from one school year to the next. 

At East’s highly competitive environment, a leadership rhetoric runs strong; highly motivated and college-oriented students want to join clubs and actively participate, but club leadership and advisors take an extremely passive approach toward appointing leadership. In a quest for leadership opportunities, these zealous students commence with a club creation, sometimes out of interest and sometimes purely for resume building. 

In an attempt to mitigate the problems associated with club creation, Mr. Charles Davis, East’s Activities Advisor, and Ms. Deborah Barr, East’s Secretary of Activities, have created a new protocol for all existing clubs. If the club leadership fails to complete this protocol, the club ceases existence and is removed as a registered school club.

“We want clubs,” said Barr, “You know we’d have a thousand clubs if we could, but we want dedicated and committed clubs that are actually doing something in the school.”

Sydney Herring (‘25), president of Italian American club, agreed with the new protocols that were put in place, “I think this policy is good for East because it makes sure that all these great clubs are having events that students with those same interests can participate in.” 

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On January 5th Davis and Barr held a  mandatory meeting for all club presidents, where each club received a packet revealing all information about the new requirements. The main part of the recent protocol is each club’s written constitution. 

As said in the packet, “All clubs must submit their signed constitutions to the activities office by Jan. 24, 2024. Clubs that do not hand in a constitution will be placed on the inactive list” 

The constitution must be written, signed, and turned in by the club presidents explaining the overall purpose of their club, the framework of their processes, membership, meetings, and legislation. 

In addition, Barr and Davis have created rules limiting the number of clubs a student can be president of and the number of clubs an advisor can lead. 

“[Davis] doesn’t want people to be  club presidents for too many clubs or on the board for too many clubs because they are overextending themselves,” revealed Barr, “We want people to be involved with the clubs that interest them rather than overextending themselves and not being able to follow through with half the clubs they are involved in.” 

The protocol packet given to each club has different sections where it asks what the club name is, if the club is part of an international organization, what the purpose and objectives of the club are, who the officers are, what the election process is like, how often meetings are held, what the members do during the meetings, how meetings are set up, and who the advisor is. 

On top of that club presidents are required to “submit their signed intent to renew sheet to the Activities Office by May 23, 2024.” If not the club will be deemed inactive and “will  have to go through the new club process at the start of the 24-25 school year.” 

“We’ve been talking about this for a while,” said Barr, “And now it’s just coming into permission” 

“The Italian American club has already done multiple events so far this year, but we are planning on doing even more where club members can have regular discussions about their culture,” said Herring. 

Herring believes that this change will have a positive impact on club culture at East. 

With the new requirements, Barr and Davis hope to solve the concerns surrounding East’s many clubs, ensuring that all 108 of them have a long and successful run.

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