By Hollis Hwang and Nagyon Kim
To participate in any extracurricular activities, students are required to submit application forms that are available only at the beginning of the year. However, because students’ interests and priorities are susceptible to change, a more practical system would be to offer applications for each semester, as well as mid-year evaluations. These changes in the club application process would not only allow students to participate in different clubs later in the year, but also ensure that clubs remain active throughout the school year.
According to Ivan Atanaskovic, Athletics and Activities Coordinator, the common application for clubs is available only in the beginning of the year to encourage students to commit to a few clubs for a significant amount of time. Though this rationale is valid, it is a misguided assumption that students possess a limited scope of passions that does not change throughout the year. Over time, they may lose interest in their chosen clubs or wish to join different ones to minimize scheduling conflicts. Reopening club admissions on a semester basis would encourage students to freely explore their interests, which reflects the very spirit of extracurricular activities.
Additionally, the activities department’s use of mid-year evaluations could further enhance the quality of clubs. Through this system, stagnant clubs could be removed to offer more opportunities for students to establish more functional clubs. At the same time, these evaluations would provide an incentive for all club members to actively engage in activities that contribute to the school community, instead of becoming complacent after the first few months of the school year.
It is important for the activities department to keep in mind that extracurricular activities are students’ outlet for fulfillment and discovery of varied interests and hobbies. By taking the idea of semester-based applications into consideration, the activities department could simultaneously meet the needs of more students, while motivating clubs and their members to contribute to the SIS community on a regular basis.