Commentary: We Need A Better Platform for Promoting Clubs

Han Diedrich ('22), Orbit Contributor

When I wanted to start a club, my first instinct was to visit the RMHS website, go to the activities and clubs page, and scroll around to find something. Conveniently there’s a link on the side that reads “How to Start a New Club,” and upon clicking on it, I am greeted with a 1-page pdf download. I was slightly confused. “This can’t be all.” 

The form just asked for some basic club information. Description, name, room number, needed materials, and lines for signatures of the club advisor, principal, and superintendent. I thought there would be more, but I was wrong. Fortunately I was able to get more information from my guidance counselor.

There are quite a few “dead” clubs at RMHS.

Going through the club initiation process was very simple. I’m really into building and collecting Lego, and over the summer I planned to start the Lego club. I filled out each line on the pdf, chased down signatures, and submitted my form to the athletics (Also for activities but not many people realize that) office. The Lego Club was officially registered as easy as one, two, three.

During my first meeting I was met with disappointment when no one showed up. I put up more flyers and spread word around. But still disappointment came week after week. It seemed no one was as interested in Lego as I was. Perhaps I got unlucky at RMHS. Perhaps I should have surveyed the class’ interest in Lego before I started my club.

But that really isn’t the case. There are quite a few “dead” clubs at RMHS. There’s a long list of clubs at RMHS that currently is inaccessible for some reason, and I guarantee that half of them aren’t active.

As a sports- centered school, we are used to large teams and programs. Students aren’t as comfortable engaging in smaller niche groups compared to large and popular ones where lots of familiar faces gather. The clubs that do get a lot of attention cover broad topics, like politics, journalism, chess, and… I can’t really think of another. If there was a better way of promoting clubs to the grade, I’d probably be able to name a few more.

A more effective and engaging way of interesting and publicizing clubs to the RMHS student body must be made.

RMHS needs to establish a platform for clubs, new and old, to recruit new members. The club fairs have either been canceled or overlooked during the COVID-era, but people always flocked to the sports tables anyways. A more effective and engaging way of interesting and publicizing clubs to the RMHS student body must be made. For students founding those clubs, they’ll need better information that is readily at hand. There’s plenty of articles on Google, but none of them fit the specific community that RMHS is. A possible solution is a forum that all students actively check. Students would feel more comfortable knowing that their friends and everyone else are also searching for a club to join. Right now the current monthly school newsletters  are dropped into our school emails and ignored. An effective way of pushing students to check the forum is bluntly saying “Hey! Did you know that clubs look really good on college applications?” That saying would get a lot of bites.

Starting a club is easy work at RMHS, but finding members is the real struggle. A stronger and popular platform for students to explore and discover unique clubs that may unlock an interest they never knew existed would be wonderful for prospective club founders and members.