Standards of club application process require clean up

in Opinion by

Just weeks ago, the executives of all clubs finished running through stacks of applications and sent out emails notifying the applicants’ acceptances and rejections. The selection process definitely requires painstaking efforts behind; when student club executives evaluate an application, they have to consider everything from the bottom to the top. Yet it is undeniable that when it comes to the final decision, the preconception the officer has of an applicant plays a pivotal role in determining the ultimate acceptance. In order to eliminate susceptibility to bias in the executives’ part, and havoc regarding standards of rejection and acceptance for applicants, clubs should disclose their unique standards and criteria prior to the application forms.

Undoubtedly, each club has different standards of evaluation according to the general needs of the club. The distinct purposes and focuses of the club and the types of activities and participation expected of its members often require different values and skill sets. For instance, Primary English Teachers Association requires frequent attendances to the nearby teaching center and thus places emphasis on the participation effort; Korean Animal Service Association, on the other hand, prioritizes novel and ingenious ideas for its numerous fundraisers. Although genuine interest and participation are universal expectations, clubs benefit from and are justified in prioritizing members that will bring the skills necessary for their particular needs.

However, the existing application system provides no clear criteria of each clubs. While existing members provide information regarding the club to prospective applicants during club orientation day, extensive disclosure of standards is necessary. If more specific and straightforward expectations were released on the clubs’ parts, students could more aptly decide to which clubs their passion and skills should be funneled toward. The ambiguity not only takes away from the students’ experience, but also can deprive clubs of applicants qualified and specialized for their needs.

Not only do unclear ideals of each club baffle many students, but the controversy over favoritism has also recurred during the selection process. It would be naive to assume that personal biases would wholly be removed from the application process. Yet with the disclosure of explicit standards, the application process can steer away from the ambiguous and at times, varying measures of personal biases, into an objective evaluation. Although not obligated, club executives can further provide standardized feedback to denied applicants whose previous requests for information were denied.

The application process does indeed require standardized questions: basic questions and answers being the staple of such. Yet the exact standards in which members are chosen cannot be cleared up perfectly as the process of elimination is solely done privately only with officers. If standards of acceptances and reasons for rejections were clearly defined by explicit criteria of the respective clubs, both officers and applicants will mark a step toward objective evaluation.

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Grace Yang is a sophomore and a reporter for Tiger Times. She likes spending her time writing and taking care of her dog in her free time. Although she is a new staff this year, she will try her best to contribute to Tiger Times this year.

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