Club establishment policies ignite disagreements

Recent club rejections lead to mixed feelings

Getting+started%3A+Junior+Thanasi+Pantazides+and+senior+Thomas+Djerf+watch+as+senior+Mary+Pavia+and+junior+Layna+Crandell+lead+the+first+meeting+of+the+gender+equality+club+before+school+Dec.+10.+Members+of+the+unofficial+club+discussed+issues+of+gender+in+society.+Members+hosted+the+meeting+in+Mary+Norris%27+room%2C+C351.+Students+interested+in+joining+the+unofficial+club+can+contact+Crandell%2C+Pavis+or+Norris.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Club establishment policies ignite disagreements

Getting started: Junior Thanasi Pantazides and senior Thomas Djerf watch as senior Mary Pavia and junior Layna Crandell lead the first meeting of the gender equality club before school Dec. 10. Members of the unofficial club discussed issues of gender in society. Members hosted the meeting in Mary Norris' room, C351. Students interested in joining the unofficial club can contact Crandell, Pavis or Norris.

Getting started: Junior Thanasi Pantazides and senior Thomas Djerf watch as senior Mary Pavia and junior Layna Crandell lead the first meeting of the gender equality club before school Dec. 10. Members of the unofficial club discussed issues of gender in society. Members hosted the meeting in Mary Norris' room, C351. Students interested in joining the unofficial club can contact Crandell, Pavis or Norris.

Cole Bacig

Getting started: Junior Thanasi Pantazides and senior Thomas Djerf watch as senior Mary Pavia and junior Layna Crandell lead the first meeting of the gender equality club before school Dec. 10. Members of the unofficial club discussed issues of gender in society. Members hosted the meeting in Mary Norris' room, C351. Students interested in joining the unofficial club can contact Crandell, Pavis or Norris.

Cole Bacig

Cole Bacig

Getting started: Junior Thanasi Pantazides and senior Thomas Djerf watch as senior Mary Pavia and junior Layna Crandell lead the first meeting of the gender equality club before school Dec. 10. Members of the unofficial club discussed issues of gender in society. Members hosted the meeting in Mary Norris' room, C351. Students interested in joining the unofficial club can contact Crandell, Pavis or Norris.

Ivy Kaplan

When senior Mary Pavia and juniors Layna Crandell and Noa Raasch proposed the gender equality club, the administration’s reaction surprised them.

The gender equality club, among others including the knitting club and the pingpong club, encountered different situations regarding their establishments.

According to Principal Joann Karetov, to create a club students must present a reasonable purpose and explain why it is essential to the high school.

“Students have to come with a purpose of what (the club) plans to do,” Karetov said. “They have to determine why it has to be at St. Louis Park. If you don’t build that club up beforehand, it doesn’t work.”

Additionally, there is a limit to the number of official clubs the school can economically support. According to Karetov, a club is considered official when a faculty adviser is paid a stipend for his or her services.

The gender equality club was one new club to encounter difficulties in establishment. After meetings with Karetov, they decided to become unaffiliated with the school.

Karetov said she thinks the topic of gender equality should be handled by professionals rather than students.

“I offered a group with social workers because it sounds like there’s a bigger interest and concern involved,” Karetov said.

Crandell said she understood Karetov’s reasoning, however, it was not the direction they were anticipating for the club.

This prompted them to unaffiliate with the high school.

“Originally Ms. Karetov thought that it wasn’t really club material because it is kind of a heavy subject,” Crandell said. “I understand her point of view, but she wanted a social service person to come in and advise our group during the school day. That wasn’t really what we were trying to achieve.”

In addition to the gender equality club, the knitting club, proposed by Rachel Vortherms, faced issues as well.

In regards to this club, Karetov said she believed it could not be established because of safety reasons involving bringing knitting needles on school grounds, which may qualify as a weapon under school policy.

“It was a little surprising because they seemed almost angry at us for wanting to begin a club,” Vortherms said. “They should be excited about students getting involved in school, and it didn’t feel that way at all. It felt like we were being shamed.”

Although some clubs faced challenges, the pingpong club, initiated by junior Danny Goldstein, was approved.

“I wanted to create the Pingpong club after I grew to love it at camp this summer. I played all day and all night,” he said. “I feel proud our administration supports such a variety of clubs and cares about the interests of our students.”

Under these circumstances, the school supports the pingpong club because it can provide space and equipment for the club to utilize, according to Karetov.

Additionally, the club’s affiliation with the school allows them to compete against other clubs and teams around the Metro area.

As a result of the issues surrounding club establishment, some students believe the administration should leave the process of forming a new club up to the students involved.

Junior Eddie Diaz said he thinks it should be easier for students to form a new club.

“It should be left up to students because clubs are a form of expression,” he said. “It’s their choice to decide what they want to do after school.”

In addition to assuming a less influential position, other students believe the administration should not play such a large role in the process of establishing a new school club.

Junior Sagal Abdirahman said she thinks the administration is doing too much and recent denials portray the administration in a negative manner.

“Students know what they want and what they see as necessary,” Abdirahman said. “It puts the administration in a bad place because it makes them look like they want to turn down things students feel they need.”

Despite controversy regarding these clubs, Karetov said she believes clubs encourage students to become more engaged in the school community.

“(Clubs) are a great idea,” Karetov said. “I know how important they are, and the more invested students are at school, the more they want to be here.”

Students interested in starting a club can contact Karetov or find more information in the principal’s office.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story