Clubs Block Needs an Update


Ethan Weiss

Music Club, which focuses on playing Classic Rock music, played at gathering on April 11.

As the head of Music Club, I want to continue running my club and be a part of other clubs at Latin. I want to attend Real Estate Investment Club, Business Club, Irish Club, and others. However, more than 60 percent of club meetings occur during Clubs Block, a 40-minute period that takes place only once every eight school days. I am sure many students want to be part of Music Club but are unable because they attend a different club taking place during Clubs Block. As a result, I believe that Latin should remove an Advisory block from the schedule and replace it with an additional Clubs Block.

Latin’s schedule restricts students’ accessibility to clubs. While other schools have most clubs after school or during lunch, Latin does not. As an underclassman, I found this foolish. After going to my first Clubs Fair, I realized that all nine clubs I signed up for meet during Clubs Block. I questioned how Latin expected students to participate in extracurriculars when so many happened simultaneously. Why were so many clubs not taking advantage of time after school?

Over the past couple of years, I began to understand that many students cannot participate in after-school clubs due to school athletics and a range of activities outside of school. Nevertheless, the structure of clubs at Latin still hurts the community—especially students who, like me, aren’t on a Latin sports team. Furthermore, Clubs Block occurs only about 15 times in a school year. I can’t tell you how many times Clubs Block got canceled (and not rescheduled) due to a “more important” event. Therefore, there’s hardly any time for a club to work on activities and foster a close community.

Senior Braden Sedler, head of the Real Estate Investment Club, said, “I have found that a lot of people really want to go to my club but have commitments to other clubs and ultimately cannot come. I think if they gave an extra Clubs Block for the people who want to go to multiple clubs, it would be very beneficial to the students at Latin.”

The wasted time in Advisory should be used for something that actually benefits students: clubs. I believe we should replace the 40-minute Advisory block with an additional Clubs Block. Advisory is important in high school, but the period is often pointless. While there is sometimes necessary information or tasks, we typically do very little during the two blocks in a rotation. Latin can convert the new Clubs Block (as well as other community times) into an Advisory period when needed.

Clubs are the best way for students to become involved in the school community. The Princeton Review says that “your extracurricular involvement is one of the few ways that colleges can gain insights into your personality.” You can’t explore all the parts of your personality if you’re restricted to one club. If Latin created Clubs Block to supplement after-school clubs, that approach failed. It is now the norm for clubs to take place during Clubs Block. Latin needs to accept this and adapt.
When asked about the lack of time for clubs in Latin’s schedule, Director of Student Life Tim Cronister noted, “I have seen this as an issue for 24 years,” since he first began working at the school. Mr. Cronister recognizes that Latin needs clubs for students to follow their passions, but there is currently a scheduling problem. Thus, he and other administrators have explored how other schools schedule clubs. For instance, Latin looked into implementing longer lunch periods on most days, which would allow clubs to rotate meeting times. While Latin did not enact longer lunches, the school hopes to create more special schedule days in the future with extra time for clubs and other activities. We’ll see if that ever happens—I have my doubts.

With only one Clubs Block, Latin is not reaching its full potential. While I have found ways to be involved at Latin, it wasn’t easy. There are many clubs for students to be involved in, yet the current structure inhibits students’ possibilities. Latin should change their structure to benefit the community and its students.