Do clubs get enough time to meet in school?

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Gabe

Key Club meeting near planning their next project

by Gabe Erb, Reporter

There are a lot of clubs available at Linganore High School. Many students enjoy participating in the various clubs such as Lego Club, Volleyball Club, African-American Culture Club and Anime Club. However, there is just one problem to the wide variety of options: fitting them into the student schedule. 

The majority of clubs only get to meet once every three weeks, which equates to around nine times a school year. There is also disruption to this schedule due to the early dismissal days or days off school.

Some students want this to change and believe clubs should meet more frequently. There are even students who view clubs as pointless given how little time they have to meet during school hours. 

“What’s the point of meeting once every two months for thirty minutes,” said Auggie Jansen, a member of the Volleyball Club.

David Buck, the Volleyball Club advisor, explained how the schedule worked.

“There’s three rotations: A, B and C. Each week is a different rotation, so each club generally meets once every three weeks,” said Buck.

“It’d be nice to have clubs meet more often, but the school doesn’t give us time,” said Connor Nanavaty, a member of Book Club.

Erik Engelstatter, assistant principal in charge of managing clubs, further explained the purpose behind the current schedule.

“We do the rotation so students have an opportunity to participate in multiple clubs and not make them choose one,” said Engelstatter.

However, many students question why there is only one day a week in which clubs can be called during PREP. If there were more days a week clubs could be active, perhaps a rotation would not be needed.

“Why is the rotation basically only once a month?” Liam Griffin, a member of African American Culture club said.

Engelstatter explained the rationale behind the week day chosen to host clubs.

“The reason we only have one day dedicated to clubs is because PREP is also time for other things, like getting students academic help and social-emotional learning. Three days are dedicated for students to work, one is for social-emotional learning and one is for clubs,” Engelstatter said.

Linganore math teacher and Logo Club advisor Joseph Athey shared his perspective as a teacher who pulls students for PREP. He believes it it is  hard to justify adding another club day since teachers often need to help kids with their class work, and they specifically use PREP time to do so.

Despite the clear reasoning behind the choice of schedule, the lack of club time still poses an issue for many students involved in clubs.

The students in the Volleyball Club complained about the lack of time they have for their club.

“We need more time.” said junior Brady Densock.

Athey acknowledged the benefit of addition club meeting time.

“It certainly would be nice for us to meet more. It would create a better bond between the members,” said Athey.

This frustration seems to be felt by club members across a variety of clubs.

“I feel like clubs don’t meet enough in school. If they can’t make time in school, they should make time out of school,” said Leslie Zampier, a member of Book Club. 

It is true that clubs are able to organize and meet outside of school; however, many club members are not able to participate outside of school due to lack of transportation or other extracurricular activities, sports or jobs.

If no changes are possible this year, students are hopeful that this issue may be addressed when planning student schedules for next school year.