The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Raise the Bar

Parker should have a higher threshold for creating a new club
Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

Two weeks ago students gathered in the Courtyard to sign up for various clubs they were interested in. However, in efforts to bolster a college application or resume, many of these clubs, with little purpose or engagement, were created. We would like Parker to amend the student organization system to keep these ineffective clubs in check. 

In his sophomore year, for example, Editor-in-Chief Harry Lowitz created the Comedy Club. The idea felt great at first. But people didn’t come to the meetings, and he was too busy to plan them in a meaningful way. Ultimately, the club fizzled out.

While it may be difficult to determine the value of a club, it can be obvious when clubs are created just for the sake of being created. Though these clubs may initially meet with some frequency, they tend to die out within a few months. Some die out quickly. Some go on for a long time in the shadows. Some clubs end up unexpectedly successful.

A big contributor to club success or failure is the dedication of the heads. By not hosting meetings throughout the year, club heads are neglecting these responsibilities. They may have an impressive title to put on a college application, but they don’t have any impact to show for it. 

Although the success of a club is not only determined by its consistency of meetings, club heads should be truly passionate about the topic or purpose of the club. This is in a way an injustice to the club members, who have been robbed of an opportunity to be a part of a group that motivates or inspires them.

 It is hard to work around everyone’s schedules, but if club heads care enough about their club’s purpose, they will try their hardest to make it work, instead of simply not having any meetings at all. Club head is a title that should be earned – if a club head isn’t meeting the expectations of what a club head should be, then maybe they shouldn’t be one. 

Additionally, given that there is a budget for all of these clubs, the ones that do not meet often are taking funding from other clubs that have active participation, which is a difficult predicament for club heads to be in when trying to plan events. 

We have also noticed some groups of clubs with similar goals. We recognize that these clubs each have some level of distinctness, but they operate completely independently, and are there really enough people and energy in our 350 person high school to make each of these clubs independently impactful? If there is, we haven’t seen it yet. We suggest students explore how to bolster existing clubs and unite their efforts.

Another issue with clubs at Parker is that it is often a battle of privilege. Students who are fortunate enough to have connections with impressive individuals reap the benefits, while students who do not have those connections do not have the same allure. 

 Perhaps many of these clubs are made with the best of intentions. Each one probably starts with some conversation that makes it genuinely seem like a great idea. Moreover, maybe each club should be given a shot at legitimacy. But we see too many shots being given. The bar is too low. We want more oversight over the creation of new clubs and a higher standard for maintaining them.

Students should be creating clubs for the sake of their own passions and interests and not just to fill a spot in a college application. We need to dismantle the idea that starting your own club is the key to being an impressive high schooler and applicant. There is already a highly saturated lineup of Parker clubs, and instead of putting time and energy towards new clubs that seldom take off, students should see how they can contribute to and expand existing groups.

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