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Students learn about forming clubs at McLean

McLean offers students a new way to learn about forming clubs

Students+meet+in+S124+after+school+to+learn+about+the+process+of+forming+a+club.
Students meet in S124 after school to learn about the process of forming a club.

Students meet in S124 after school to learn about the process of forming a club.

Dasha Makarishcheva

Dasha Makarishcheva

Students meet in S124 after school to learn about the process of forming a club.

Dasha Makarishcheva, Reporter

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This year McLean has introduced monthly information sessions in S124 for students interested in forming after school clubs and activities.

The purpose of these meetings is to help students understand the process of creating a club that is county approved. With the help of teachers to facilitate, the application process is efficient.

“It’s time-consuming because there are so many students every year [who want to organize clubs]. There are about 20 to 30 clubs that go through the process [of] getting approved by the county, and in the past, they come to meet me one on one throughout the year,” marketing teacher and Assistant Director of Student Activities Jeremy Hays said. “That’s why this year we implemented these after school meetings to try and get groups of people together. They run a little bit more smoothly.”

Alongside easing the application process, these sessions prevent students from making common paperwork mistakes or overlooking guidelines and restrictions. For instance, specific types of clubs, such as athletic clubs are not permitted at McLean.

“They can technically have an ‘Ultimate Frisbee Interest Group, ’ but all that would consist of is them getting together, meeting and talking about Ultimate Frisbee. They technically would not be allowed to play a sport at all because we would then be responsible for injuries and things like that…and that’s why they’ve stopped accepting those athletic clubs.”

The amount of work that students have to do to complete a club request often seems intimidating.

“We get a lot of people, you know, a lot of students in here like ‘I want to do this club’ and then once I tell them everything you’ve got to do they disappear and never appear [again]. They just want to start a club to start a club,” Hays said.

It’s difficult to get a club started without a large amount of planning involved.

“Make sure you have some free time and make sure it’s something useful,” sophomore Hannon Clark said. Clark is currently in the process of creating a Virtual Reality club with fellow sophomore Buqi Han.  You have to really think about [the club making process],”

When filling out the paperwork for a club request, students have to state their club guidelines, and fill out the roles of positions such as president and vice president.

“Making the rules may seem a little complicated or intimidating at first, but it’s easy once you get into it,” sophomore Verun Sathyanarayanan said. Sathyanarayanan is currently in the process of forming a multi-language club at McLean.

The hardest part about forming a club at McLean is often regarded as finding a club sponsor. A club sponsor is a teacher who supervises each time a club meets, but most teachers at McLean are either too busy to sponsor a club or are already sponsoring one.

“Unless you know a teacher very well you need to ask around. Most of the teachers who [are busy with their] class, per se, may even deny [your request], so you have to ask teachers who you don’t even know who they are about clubs and sponsoring,” Sathyanarayanan said

Despite the tedious efforts they require, clubs at McLean are beneficial for the students who form and participate in them.

“I think having clubs makes the school a better place. [It] gives students something that they’re passionate about, that they meet new people with similar interests, so it’s a great tool for students to enhance their education [in school],” Hays said.

Students who want to form clubs should keep in mind that the school has many resources available to help them with their application process.

“My advice is to speak with someone at the activities department because there are several meetings across the year where students can go,” English and creative writing teacher Seth LeBlanc said. “You just have to have students who are interested.”

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Students learn about forming clubs at McLean