By JERRY HUANG
“The number of first semester clubs had generally decreased from past years,” shared Anya Hwang (Sr.), this year’s Clubs Commissioner.
From interest to community service, University High School has over 120 student-run clubs. Chances are, if you’ve got a passion for something, there’s a club for it. If not, you are always encouraged to start one; clubs are a great place for people with the same interests to collaborate and work together towards a common goal.
For many students, clubs are the highlight of their high school experience. Apart from the academics, clubs encourage student involvement not only at school, but also within the community.There are many benefits to starting a club that can be useful in the future.
“Starting a club is a really great way to practice leadership and public speaking outside of the classroom, as well as it gets you involved in more school events.” says Mikael Smith (Sr.), president of History Club.
Every meeting is an opportunity for the club president to practice presentation skills, as it’s held in a relatively low risk environment. It may be difficult at first, but it will undoubtedly become easier and more natural as confidence is instilled through experience.
Heading a club also advances decision making skills, as the future of a club lies in the president’s hands. As president, you are responsible for everything that goes on in your club, and your actions ultimately determine its success.
Mani Homafar (Jr.), president of the MEDLIFE club was inspired by the various successful clubs on campus saying, “I would imagine how many years of effort were put into Chinese Cultural Club, FBLA, or Key Club to get them to the scale that they are at now, and I’m wondering if ours will ever reach that scale and if future students will continue it and it all really comes down to what I do.”
Starting a club may seem like a complex and difficult process, but many students have voiced that the process is actually very manageable.
“It was pretty straightforward there was a meeting that really explained it all and we had a lot of time to get everything done,” mentions Homafar.
The mandatory club information meeting hosted on Monday, August 28 provided club presidents with all the links and club packets necessary to register a club.
“I think the process of starting a club was very streamlined and well organized. ASB did a great job at being clear as to what exactly you needed to turn in by what date in order to register your club,” Smith says of his experience starting History Club.
Smith continued, “I came from a school with a pretty different club system. There weren’t many clubs and, of the clubs that were on campus, most of them were deeply engrained in the school’s culture”.
Whether it’s a newly founded club or one that has become part of the school tradition, there are several components that must be addressed and kept in mind in order to preserve its success.
Smith recalled, “we did a lot of experimentation regarding weekly activities. Over time we got feedback from other members and generally understood what people were enjoying and what others weren’t too excited about.”
Like in any organization, the leader must consider the interest of his members and make arrangements in order to accommodate their needs and wants. However, it’s also important to remember the core values and purpose for which the club was started. In the end, a balance must be found between the members’ interests and president’s objectives for club.
“You have to plan things to keep them engaged, whether that is working on a project, prepping for a competition, or participating in a service event.” says Hwang, who oversees the operation of each club at UHS.
There’s no doubt that being involved in clubs can help prepare you for the future. Whether it’s expanding your knowledge alongside new friends with similar interests or practicing leadership skills while speaking about topics you’re passionate about, clubs have a lot to offer. It’s just up to each individual get involved and reap its benefits.