StuCo clubs rules unnecessarily harsh, involved

Kris Long, Opinions Editor

Student Council’s new regulations for club reports might make sense to StuCo leaders but are unfair to smaller clubs and those with fewer events or narrow missions outside of service projects. 

Last week, StuCo passed reinforced and revamped legislation building off of previous rules requiring clubs to participate in one fundraiser and one community service event per year. According to an email distributed to club sponsors, club representatives  will now also have to fill out a club report in time for every StuCo meeting and send a representative to the meeting. If the StuCo club representative isn’t available they can send the report via email. However, it is assumed that this won’t be allowed regularly. 

If clubs don’t follow these requirements, they will be demoted to an interest group. If interest groups don’t follow requirements, they could be ordered to disband. To add to the pressure, the beginning-of-year report is due today along with the first report. 

It is the opinion of The Mentor Editorial Board that these rules are unfair to clubs and interest groups.  It’s understandable that StuCo wants clubs to report back more often as issues with clubs following none of the previous guidelines were common last year. However, simply making more specific guidelines for different clubs and interest groups would be less intrusive on clubs’ ability to serve their purpose in the school. 

It makes sense that StuCo might want some clubs to give reports in time for each meeting, but the newly enforced rules are unfair to smaller clubs, who don’t have the membership to send a representative to every StuCo meeting. Clubs also don’t always meet every week, so they wouldn’t necessarily have much new to say in their club reports, due every other week. Another issue is some clubs only meet during FlexTime, so it’s difficult to send one of their senior members to a StuCo meeting that takes place at the same time]. Clubs like Model UN would also struggle to meet this requirement because they have only one event a year. It’s pointless to have clubs like these report to StuCo and send a representative to every meeting.

While it’s important for some clubs to prove they are adequately funded, many clubs don’t need to raise money to keep their group going. For many clubs, all that’s required is a sponsor’s room and somebody to show up with snacks. Clubs that are co-curriculars like Debate, Model UN, SkillsUSA and Quill & Scroll don’t often hold fundraisers because they don’t need to. They are sponsored by donors or the school. This presents a useless hoop these clubs will have to jump through every year.

In addition, the community service requirement makes sense for some clubs, like StuCo, NHS and Key Club, whose purposes are to expose students to volunteerism. However, the community service value in most clubs is the opportunity it gives to students to get to know like-minded peers and learn more about a subject they’re interested in. These rules don’t pertain to clubs whose purposes don’t involve volunteerism. 

The rules are also confusingly vague. It’s not clear how many times a club can simply email it’s report — or not do its report at all — before demotion. What will happen if a community service project or fundraiser doesn’t work out, whether this is due to ill management or problems out of the club’s control? Will these be handled on a case-by-case basis? If so, how will it be ensured decisions are not biased? If not, how is this fair to clubs that make honest mistakes? The vague rules will create confusion and give opportunities for clubs to find loopholes in the rules to do less work. 

To prevent future problems between StuCo, clubs and interest groups the requirements clubs must follow need to be more specific to individual clubs and clarified to avoid confusion.