Social clubs on campus should strive to accept all types of students.
For almost as long as schools and campuses have existed, so have social clubs. They were created in order to bring students together through common interests, while instilling a sense of community in the minds of those who chose to participate in them.
The dictionary definition of the word club is “an association or organization dedicated to a particular interest or activity. With this in mind, let’s ask the question: Should social clubs on campus be allowed to deny access to others or should it be mandated that they allow anyone to participate simply by signing up?
On high school campuses, social clubs can be created easily by any student. All that is necessary in order to do so is the approval of a teacher who is willing to supervise, as well as an available, accommodating location on campus. These clubs accept all students interested in joining without any requirements or prerequisites other than an honest desire to participate. This leniency tends to be encouraging to students when they begin making their decision of whether or not to join.
College campuses, however, are much more strict and selective in regards to clubs. In order for a club to be created and recognized on campus, a Club Application Packet (about thirty-two pages in length) must be filled out and turned in to the Office of Student Affairs to be reviewed. After this has been completed, the decided club president is notified whether the application has been accepted or denied.
In order to join many of the approved clubs, students must meet the club requirements rather than be accepted based on their pure interest in the club alone.
For some Palomar students, the necessity to meet expectations in order to participate in a group is daunting and can influence their decision to attempt to join the club altogether.
“It can be intimidating,” Alyssa Bonna, a young English major at Palomar College said. “I am relatively reserved, but when the campus has a Club Rush in the beginning of the semester I sometimes will walk around and take a look at the options. It always seems like the club leaders are a little judgmental and closed off when they are supposed to be encouraging.”
Though unintentional, the fact that students feel unsettled when deciding whether or not to participate in a campus club is an issue that should be addressed. In order for college campuses to create a better sense of community and common interest, social clubs should be banned from limiting access and should instead encourage the participation of any and all students. This not only would benefit the student body, but the campus as a whole.
It is a known fact that participating in extracurricular activities while in college is a positive addition to your resume and an important factor when applying for both internships and jobs.
According to research done by the National Center of Educational Statistics, statistics suggest that participation in extracurricular activities and social clubs may increase students sense of engagement and attachment to their school, and thereby decrease the likelihood of academic failure and dropping out entirely. Also, students who do get involved on campus are 83 percent more likely to be chosen for an internship and then hired.
If the participation in extracurricular activities and social clubs does, in fact, help students and their success in both school and future careers, then the open acceptance of students of all types and availability of such clubs should become an important necessity on campuses nationwide.
To accept others into social groups based on prerequisites written up by their peers is a sure way to make those who do not meet expectations feel inadequate and unworthy. Campus clubs should be welcoming to all students without bias or necessary requirements. A simple signature showing interest should be more than enough to be accepted into any social group.
Unity, acceptance and community is what keeps college campus’ thriving, without these three things the college experience would not be half of what students hope for.