Clubs are an integral part of the Concord Academy community. These spaces bring people together to explore activities outside of the classroom and share common interests. This year, CA introduced a new set of club guidelines. All clubs, new or pre-existing, must undergo an application process if they wish to be officially recognized. Completing this application is no small feat; Co-heads must submit a group description, constitution, and digital logo.

So far this school year, I have heard many different perspectives on this new policy. Personally, I have mixed opinions about the new guidelines. 

Requiring students to fill out an application and commit to at least one community offering other than Club Expo and Winterfest ensures that CA clubs will meet. Last year, several clubs did not meet once throughout the entire school year. I remember signing up for clubs at Club Expo, eagerly awaiting an email or announcement about a meeting, and found myself disappointed when those meetings never took place.

I understand and empathize with Co-heads, as finding time to organize a meeting is difficult. However, I think Co-heads should be responsible for providing the CA community with at least one meeting or event per year, and these new club guidelines will ensure that everyone can attend meetings or events surrounding topics they are passionate about.

I also appreciate how the requirement for the club constitution promotes a club’s longevity. This guideline will make it easier for future Co-heads to run their clubs, as they will give future Co-heads, regardless of their previous leadership experience at CA, specific instruction on how to successfully run the club.

On the other hand, CA students are very busy. There is not much time to spare between managing homework, sports, extracurriculars, and leading clubs. Creating a constitution and satisfying the other application requirements takes copious amounts of time, especially since Co-heads must answer very specific questions regarding their group’s structure. 

While laying a foundation for a club is essential, I wish there was a less time-consuming way to do so. For new Co-heads who did not have experience running the club in past years, creating the constitution was a sizable undertaking. For example, I am one of three sophomore GSA Co-heads with no prior experience running student clubs at CA, and it took us several hours to write the constitution, let alone finish the rest of the application.

Overall, I think the new club guidelines touch on some very important issues regarding clubs at CA, though I do still have a few reservations about the new policies. As the school year progresses, I think we, as CA students, will be able to gain a better understanding of the impact these new guidelines and additionally propose ways to adjust the policy to make it more accommodating.