Opinion: Students Can’t Do It Alone

January 27, 2023

Dear Timnath adults,

Speech and Debate, book club, Robotics club,  Art club and so much more are all available at other schools but that’s not an option for us. And sure, we can start clubs, as I’m sure we’ve all heard “Talk to Jill Frey”  in the morning announcements, but we need more support from the adults at this school.

Being in a club is wildly important to students because clubs offer the community and serve as windows to our potential future career interests, but if we want these clubs, we need to start them ourselves. 

That’s a lot of pressure!

We as Timnath students have been pushed into an unexpected leadership position, and right now, we’re lost little cubs who don’t feel ready to take it all on ourselves. We’re only freshmen and sophomores. Overall, many of us feel unequipped to handle this unexpected leadership. Traditionally, we would have upperclassmen show us the ropes, but here, that just isn’t plausible.

Because we are the upperclassmen and will continue to be the upperclassmen.

What’s stopping us? 

Maybe this is just a me thing, but many things could go wrong with starting your own club! What if no one shows up? What if you fall out of love with the club you started? (You can’t just abandon your creation.) What if no one sponsors your club? 

This is all unique to our school since it’s all on us to start the clubs.

I invite you to take into account that the majority of the high school student population might have a little social anxiety. Or are just scared of the initiative? 

When asked: what is your advice for people who are struggling with starting a club,  “ The thing about being prepared is people are almost never feeling prepared to take on a new role. I can say in my career, every time I took on a new role, I’ve almost never felt prepared. When you go to an established school, it’s a lot of picking up something that’s been done; we don’t have that, we’re creating the formula.”  I’m sure myself and other students have picked up on the fact that we’re starting clubs from scratch because that’s all everyone’s been doing this year—teachers, students, admin, and coaches. 

But many students feel utterly lost!

How can you help?

Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of ways in which your hands are tied in terms of intervening with student-led clubs, since school staff is not allowed to lead any activities in clubs that aren’t school-sponsored, but to help us facilitate our student-led clubs, why don’t we have any club leadership training? Could ELO time be used to teach us how to start clubs?

When asked if we could have some sort of leadership training Mr. Morrill said: “So, I think that would be happening in our current leadership classes, as those that move on to year two or three we may have more upperclassmen support.” 

Our existing leadership classes don’t serve that purpose, and were never meant for the purpose of starting clubs; their purpose is mainly school sustainability (Navigators) and event planning (Cub Vision), not to mention that these leadership classes aren’t available to the general Timnath student since they’re application based.

 Access to leadership training, such as having a separate ELO class for the sole purpose of starting a club, and increased staff involvement in starting clubs would be so incredibly beneficial not only for school culture but also for our future. 

Another solution would be to have staff start more school-sponsored clubs. Clubs such as DECA, Key Club, MUN, Gardening club and so many more could all be sponsored by our school. Finding a way to facilitate these clubs will bring in more school culture/involvement because a lot of these clubs are well known so there’s bound to be interest within our school. It could also set a massive example for people who are weary about starting their own club, as they will see that people have an interest in joining clubs.

Camila Gutierrez 

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