School is often seen as a sort of trial period before students are able to progress into the “real world,” where the skills they acquired in adolescence are utilized in more mature situations.
There are many mediums through which to attain these attributes including classes, basic social situations and parents. However, in high school, one has an array of clubs and organizations to pledge allegiance to.
From sports like football and soccer, to academic clubs, such as Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society, every activity is unique in their own way. Yet, they all share a few distinct commonalities, chief among them being their student- led designations.
One thing that many high schools, including CCHS, pride themselves on, is the fact that students serve integral roles in the function of the extracurriculars they are involved in while on campus and that they are able to, with supervision, tackle some of the most pressing issues themselves. In this, they are able to learn about interacting with others in a pleasant, productive way while completing tasks, small and large alike, that they would not know how to do otherwise, such as financial paperwork.
This assertion makes it easy to believe that students are learning how to run the clubs efficiently and with ethicacy, yet, with so much liberty, in some cases that sentiment is heavily tainted by age-induced corruption or inability.
Therefore, the age-old debate of whether sponsors should take more responsibility or less in their respective extracurriculars is brought about.
“The main goal of a school should be to educate… allowing students to run the club educates the student on things that could never be taught in the classroom such as leadership and responsibility,” junior David Lee said. “Schools should be run more by the students rather than the teachers.”
In a club where the sponsor actively supervises and aids heavily in decision-making, the students are not able to make their own mistakes and effectively learn in order to dispel them in the future. As for the member implications, they may feel as though their voices are going unheard and that an adult is making their decisions for them.
But when sponsors take a hands-off approach and leave students to their own devices, blatant favoritism, unprofessionalism and superiority reign supreme and the members within the activity are subjected to an environment that could in part ruin their high school experience. Inclusivity and communication are absolute key when running a successful club and when they are lost, the club risks falling apart as members and officers become disgruntled.
Thus, a commonplace between the two, where checks and balances are established, might make the perfect compromise as sponsors need to oscillate between supervising the leadership of the club while still being somewhat lenient in the decisions they let students make.
One option could be a system of complaint within the club that allows members to speak directly to sponsors about any grievances they have regarding the management skills of the leadership of the club. In this way, a more governmental, triangular flow of power is achieved with the members, leaders and supervisor all having a somewhat equal say in what happens within the activity they all take part in. This way all entities can be virtually satisfied with their commitment and no one can feel left behind.
Overall, there are many different ways through which students can gain experience in high school and one of the most rewarding is through running school clubs and organizations. However, how will students ever learn the correct skills they need for the future unless club and organization structures are examined and enhanced?
Photo by Lariat Photography