In the past two months, students and teachers of DMAE have grown frustrated with the severe reduction in clubs. Since the [email protected] was founded, students were able to attend clubs of their choice every week, and more recently, every Thursday during ninth period. During this period, students joined charitable humanitarian organizations, challenged their critical thinking skills, and expressed their creative passions. With the loss of ninth period, a majority of these clubs have been cut.
Many ninth period clubs that students have come to know and love are completely gone. Even staples like Red Cross and UNICEF are missing from the list of this year’s clubs. Hardest hit by the loss of ninth period are smaller clubs, like Gender Sexuality Alliance and Free Tibet, that have to work much harder to secure membership. Now, the choices have narrowed to after school clubs, yet participation in these clubs poses another problem. Many students are only able to participate in one after school club because of conflicts with another club that runs on the same day or sports. Even if students manage to join two clubs that do not meet on the same day, they would have to take the late bus or get a ride on those days making it difficult to finish work and get enough sleep and, therefore, it becomes a more difficult choice to even be involved!
Additionally, how would newly created clubs be successful if the majority of students are unable to participate in them? At this point, many students have either given in to the sad reality that only one club is possible, or they are alternating between attending one club one week and another club the following week. Although this is a solution, students will likely miss important information from both clubs as they alternate, or they may be unable to participate in activities or competitions effectively, such as with HOSA, FBLA, Model UN, TSA, or Mock Trial.
In addition, students who have attempted to initiate a club are stalled. There have been mounds of red tape surrounding the process of starting a club. If there is no opportunity to establish a new club, student’s efforts are wasted and potential achievements that can be shown on college applications are negatively affected.
Lastly, and probably even the MOST important issue with the loss of clubs, is the loss of leadership position opportunities. I once was the vice-president to the Practical Web Design club ninth period, but with the cut of Thursday clubs, came the cut of Practical Web Design. This not only affects my college profile, but the effort of others who have been working hard to earn a leadership position in clubs too.
While administrators are currently planning for some club opportunities during the lunch periods, here still is the issue of availability: many students already have classes, such as Chorus, and would not be able to choose this option.
The loss of ninth period has put clubs at DMAE in serious peril. It has impacted school pride and even teacher morale. Let’s bring back 9th period and 9th period clubs for the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year, or at the least, find a much better solution to make DMAE club-strong once more.