Sungho Park, ‘20 , Jaeyeong Jung, ‘20
According to the HAFS Club Association, there are over 200 official clubs, and the number is growing every year. But the steady rise of the number of clubs led to the increase of dissidents of the system. People began to denounce the overabundance of clubs, specifically on their transparency and necessity. Few clubs have even stopped operating, and earned the name of “ghost clubs,” clubs that lack activity and passion. With the numbers of these inactive clubs escalating, the fundamental question is this: ‘What qualities must a Club have to be officially approved and supported by the school?’ In regards to the club qualification in the progress, the controversy remains unanswered. This article will bluntly take a look at both sides of the discussion, as to whether it is necessary to have excessive numbers of clubs in the first place.
Harbinger has interviewed three students each from the 2nd and 3rd grade.
- 2nd grader
Q: What do you think are the advantages of HAFS club system?
A: First of all, you participate in various debates and discussions with people of similar interests. Most HAFS students have specific goals about their future, and clubs are a great way to share opinions and develop skills for their dreams.
Q: Then what are some disadvantages?
A: I believe transparency of the clubs is needed, in order to prevent freshmen from entering a “ghost club.” Also, rather than students with passion, the club chooses the students who can speak well.
Q: What are some factors that the school should consider when supporting clubs?
A: They need to realize the characteristics of large and small clubs. Large clubs, because of their size, have distinct colors. Many brains equal many ideas, and many ideas equal a high possibility of structural advancement. But many brains equal many obstacles as well. For these clubs, one step forward means a great enhancement, but it is extremely difficult to take this step. On the other hand, small clubs have a hard time setting up their own color. They also face problems on the structuralization of activities, although it is comparatively easy to run the club. The school should diversify and acknowledge their differences, thus differentiating their approach.
- 3rd grader
Q: Some people say that the clubs in HAFS are diverse in many aspects. What is your opinion?
A: I agree partially that HAFS clubs deal with multifarious topics and subjects. However, bluntly speaking, some clubs are redundant and they overlap too much. They call it diversity, but it’s not. They merely use different names. We as third graders, or even second graders need good extracurricular activities to enter decent universities. That is why many of the students try to enroll as club captains, even if there are already existing clubs on that specific subject. I am afraid my statement might be a hasty generalization, but speaking straightforward, many students make their own club simply to enter good university with their own unique specification.
Q: Do students diligently take part in school activities?
A: Many students try to participate responsibly for all the clubs they are in. However, I see some students who try to evade club activities. They pretend to take part in club assignments, but they don’t.
Q: So do you view our school club problems simply as a product of lazy students?
A: Partially yes, but to be honest there are systematic problems of our school as well. The school from the get – go do not provide sufficient time for students to participate in clubs. All that school provides is two hours of CA club activities. To be honest, we can’t even finish our CA clubs with mere two hours a week.