Leadership Enforces Stricter Club Rules

By Marie Hogan

Leadership is enforcing club regulations more strictly this year in a move to increase oversight and protect against potential audits. Because of increased state auditing, clubs are now required to take notes on every meeting and check in regularly with a newly set up Google Classroom, among other changes.

Leadership advisor and English teacher Lesleigh Golson stressed that school administration itself has little control over club legislation.

“For a very long time, rules have been set by the state, and by the financial auditing guidelines statewide, that rule how student money is spent, in schools, through the ASB guideline,” she said. “What’s shifted this year is we have new auditors, and we have new focus on compliance, for a couple of reasons. One, colleges want some assurance that when students put that they’re in whatever number of clubs, that we have some roster, that we have some data, that says yes, we can confirm that they were in that club. The other part of it is that when you do a fundraiser for your club, we have to be able to account that the money that is spent that way is spent in the best interest of the student body.”

Reception to the changes from the clubs themselves has been mixed. Senior Jacob Seiderman, Co-President of Junior Statesmen of America [JSA] said that the new protocols had not negatively impacted the club.

“…it is relatively simple for us to submit a set of minutes frequently, at nearly every meeting, or at least we have a run down of what happened, so that for those who were missing they can get up to date on what occurred,” he said. “It’s reasonable for clubs to be taking minutes anyway, as it’s good practice, not only for continuity, making sure you’re approving and doing things, but also good practice for when you do need to record things in real life, and have things recorded for when people are missing.”

However, some club leaders feel that the increased focus on compliance places a burden on clubs that are smaller or focus on activities outside of school. Junior Jacob Renneisen, a captain in training on the sailing team and ASB Secretary, disliked the way that the changes were implemented.

“I think that it’s important in theory, that the clubs are going through the proper proceedings. But I think that there would be much more effective ways of doing it than making every club subscribe to a google classroom and fill out the minutes,” he said. “I’m on the sailing team, but it’s technically a club, so they just have to meet with the teacher advisor once a week and talk about sailing but not really do anything, just to prove their existence, because we meet outside of school, and one of the rules is we have to meet on campus.”

Golson acknowledged that the statewide protocols weren’t designed with these types of clubs in mind. “We’ve already met with sailing, we’re meeting with mountain biking this month,” she said. “We’re trying to document how it is that they run differently, and then we’ll put that up for board approval, for that to be the exception to the rule, because we have outside coaches, there are boats and supplies and yachts, and things way beyond what makes sense for truly a school organization.”

However, Golson embraced the trial and error process that the reforms necessitate. “We can’t suddenly fix everything,” she said, “so if we end this year and learn and learn a whole bunch of lessons and start next year with even more clarity, and if we do it as kind of a coming on board, that’d be better for everybody.”♦