One by one, groups of students reflecting all aspects of the Blair community’s interests, missions, and activities, flooded into Dubois theater last week to announce the launch of their clubs. This academic year brought returning organizations, such as the Community Service Club and BAD (Blair Academy Dancers), while also introducing new clubs at the Academy such as the Animation Club and the Cesco’s Pizza Club. While the grand majority of these clubs were differentiated in mission, there were a great number of clubs that seemed quite similar to each other. Some might even suggest that they were essentially duplicates of older clubs. Why?
It all begins with an application. Students must first fill out an application stating what exactly their club will do and who will be the faculty advisor. Generally, all applications are accepted as long as the content of the group isn’t inappropriate, isn’t the same as another club, and has a faculty leader. The main reason for this, despite inevitable overlap in purpose, is to encourage everyone to get involved in the community in some way, rather than curtailing the number of people participating in clubs. When two clubs are similar, Mrs. Ryerson will notify the older club of the new one. As long as there’s something different, all will be approved.
This brings us to our next issue: service-based clubs. Many of the clubs running this year are oriented towards helping the community around us. Although it is great that Blair has fostered such an interest among students in helping the community, some suggest that it would be better for students to start working in collaboration rather than independently. Students are now being encouraged by Mrs. Ryerson to really think about what exactly their clubs are doing and what aspects of their club can be fine-tuned to decrease similarities and enhance effectiveness.
(Copyright 2016 Janice Negvesky)