Eye of the Tiger

Clubs’ demise annual trend

Students+sign+up+for+meeting+reminders+for+different+RHS+organizations+at+last+fall%E2%80%99s+club+rush+on+Campo+Street.+Despite+high+turn-out+rates+at+the+beginning+of+the+year%2C+club+attendance+may+diminish+near+the+end+of+the+school+year.
Students sign up for meeting reminders for different RHS organizations at last fall’s club rush on Campo Street. Despite high turn-out rates at the beginning of the year, club attendance may diminish near the end of the school year.

Students sign up for meeting reminders for different RHS organizations at last fall’s club rush on Campo Street. Despite high turn-out rates at the beginning of the year, club attendance may diminish near the end of the school year.

Students sign up for meeting reminders for different RHS organizations at last fall’s club rush on Campo Street. Despite high turn-out rates at the beginning of the year, club attendance may diminish near the end of the school year.

NICOLE KHUDYAKOV

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Last August, the RHS student body gathered on Campo street for Club Rush, where students could potentially learn about 28 registered – as well as several unregistered – clubs. Now, as the end of the school year draws to a close, the number of common interest groups holding regular meetings has dwindled.

According to Medical Club adviser Erin Granucci, participating members of the Medical Club have also grown more limited as the school year winds to a close.

“It’s a busy time. There’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of stuff happening, especially in the spring term,” Granucci said. “So it’s not uncommon to see the participation go down. It’s just, people are just busy.”

Both lack of time and student disinterest serve as a major cause behind faltering clubs. According to assistant principal Matt Pipitone, who verifies clubs formed within the school and checks to make sure new clubs don’t hold excessive similarities to pre-existing ones, participation and dedication both play integral roles in the success of a club. Without them, he believes clubs are more likely to be disbanded.

“All of our clubs on campus are based on student interest,” Pipitone said. “What the students want to have going on. As long as there are students continuing to be involved in [a] club, the club will also continue.”

Computer Science teacher and Tiger Tech adviser Bradlee Crockett believes in using students’ passions to drive a club forward. According to Crockett, his advertising is largely word-of-mouth, as opposed to other clubs, because he believes students that would seek the club out are passionate toward the selective topics it covers and guarantee the survival of the club.

“We gets students that are passionate about technology and they lead. If it wasn’t for them, our program would fizzle too and our club would fizzle too,” Crockett said. “I don’t want every student to be here. I want students I can trust to make good decisions. I can see if you don’t have students that aren’t motivated to participate and do something, then it’s not going to go anywhere.”

A lack of time also serves as a deterrent to the continuation of student-run clubs. Most clubs at RHS meet on Mondays during the shared lunch in order to allow any student with a desire to become a member an equal opportunity to participate. This means clubs have limited opportunities to attract members, each of whom have a fixed amount of time on their hands.

“A lot of the clubs have started meeting on Mondays, but then they’re all competing for that Monday time,” Mattix said. “So we used to have students involved in a couple of clubs and now a number of students that just go down to one club.”

English teacher Scott Brink, as the current adviser for both the Board Game Club and the Brony Club, also faces the dilemma of time. The Board Game Club began its first meeting with 30 people, but current records indicate that the number of members attending meetings have dwindled. According to Brink, the change in attending students is caused by outside commitments.

“Some of those numbers shift, though, because it’s after school and a lot of the kids have jobs, sports after school,” Brink said. “So they have those other commitments as well.”

The Brony Club also fell upon the same issue. What began with a small group of six people was reduced to a core group of three students. But despite the club’s relatively small yet close-knit group, Brink doesn’t expect it to continue past this year, as a lack of student interest also has to be taken into account when forming or continuing a club.

In previous years, Brink also served as the adviser for the Animal Rights Club. Its disappearance came with the graduation of the club’s founder, as there were no students interested in continuing spreading the club’s message.

“There were a few students that were very passionate about it, but that passion didn’t translate to other students and therefore,” Brink said. “When that student left, interest kind of disappeared.”

Sophomore Will Bautista experienced a similar event when a lack of communication and opportunities to meet up caused his Ultimate Frisbee Club to stop meeting.

“If students wanted to try new stuff or meet new people, then they don’t really have that opportunity to do it in a way that they can try a new sport without having to really be that skilled at it,” Bautista said.

Student Government teacher Brent Mattix’ role in accounting for clubs has taught him that students that are heavily involved in their clubs have a strong passion for the subject of the club itself.

“The secret of clubs is to have dedicated students that want to run the club. So when we find dedicated students to step back to lead the club, the club will run just because the students won’t let it down,” Mattix said. “What we don’t want to see is people be part of the club just to look good and and not really commit to it.”

Junior Kaitlyn Ang serves as the current vice president of Key Club, one of RHS’ most successful clubs. It has been operational in RHS for over 50 years with about 66 current members. Ang believes the club’s success is based on the strong bond members share with one another.

“Unlike a lot of other clubs, we don’t have a meeting and then just ‘oh, we’re done. I’ll see you next week.’ No, we’re there all the time, we say hi to you in the halls,” Ang said.

Like Ang, Mattix believes that strengthening connections with fellow club members leads to higher levels of involvement and participation in clubs.

“When we see students that have a strong bond with each other, they’re just more likely to stay involved and they’re coming out, not just because of the interest, but because of the people they’re with,” Mattix said. “We have a lot of great students at Roseville High School, and so we can link those students together. It just makes a bigger impact.”

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