Creating connections

Student Activities examines current extracurriculars in hopes of engaging all students

Over the next few months, representatives from student activities will be auditing clubs to determine which ones are unique and have enough appeal to continue to run as separate entities.

Clubs that do not meet these criteria will face the possibility of being merged with other similar clubs.

Many of these newly combined clubs will be geared towards the roughly five to 12 percent of students who are not currently engaged in any extracurricular activities. Principal Troy Gobble hopes that the result of these mergers is a variety of activities whose topics are not redundant, which is an issue with the school’s 130 pre-existing extracurriculars.

However, many students have found that merging clubs is not always effective. According to Serena Goldberg ’17, a current executive board member of debate and a former member of speech and drama, the two teams had planned to merge for this school year, but ultimately decided that it would be too big of a distraction for both clubs as they each had different focuses.

Goldberg understands student activities’ goals in suggesting a merge, but said that merging is not always possible—especially when both clubs require a lot of separate logistical work to run. Because of this, the speech and drama team is no longer being offered.

Despite past failed merger attempts, Gobble is not concerned as he looks forward. According to Gobble, the school is going to let the students and advisors figure out how to best combine by encouraging them to discuss their similarities and differences.

In addition to potentially merging clubs, the school has decided to limit the number of new clubs this year. In spite of this, Ted Goergen, director of student activities, is keeping all of the proposals he receives.

“[I am] still interested in new clubs because these are ideas that come from kids about what might work to fill some of those voids,” Goergen said.

Many students who were hoping to start a club were told that they would have to wait until next year, including Nishant Jain ’19. Jain wanted to create a club that would help educate students about economics and high finance. However, because of this year’s changes, the creation of his club will be, at best, postponed.

Despite this, Jain is not upset about the change. Rather, he is motivated to incorporate these ideas into currently existing clubs as suggested by the school.

“We just want to build the very best program that we can that’s as inclusive as possible,” Gobble said. “That’s the point here.”