New club regulations induce controversy

Colena Mau, News Editor

There have always been rules for clubs, but this year, more of them are being enforced and with stricter policies, which has caused much frustration for some of Dougherty Valley’s clubs.

This isn’t happening only at this school. Due to the increasing amount of fraud in regards to money and its management in clubs of other schools and districts, California’s FCMAT (Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team), which governs the financial regulations on schools and their clubs, policies have increased, along with the districts’ enforcement of them.

Although no known frauds have shown up in Dougherty Valley’s clubs yet, another problem is present. There have been many inactive clubs in recent school years, causing the district to have to enforce the FCMAT policies more stringently.

Mr. Bowen, the Leadership teacher, explains that “between a half to two-thirds of our clubs meet regularly, have great intentions, work really hard and make a really positive impact on our school and community. But there is a portion of our clubs that may be just set up a table at the club fair and don’t do anything after that.”

The increasing amount of inactive clubs has caused new rules this year. A new requirement for all clubs this year was to have a complete list of all their fundraisers for the entire school year.  The processes to get matters done, approved or changed have gotten more complicated.

According to Mr. Bowen, these new changes are not the district or school’s choice, but rather part of the requirements to be compliant with FCMAT, which is trying to make clubs more organized and planned out in advance.

In addition, “the reality is that some of the club regulations haven’t changed,” mentioned Mr. Bowen. “But in some cases, there were some possies that weren’t enforced. All the schools have gotten a lot tighter in terms of regulations because the district has started to enforce, really, the letter of the law and on a state level.”

Mr. Fruzzetti, the club advisor of Videogame Logic/Science Club, believes that this can actually be advantageous for both clubs and admin, as “listing fundraising events early is a great way to be assured admin will allow your fundraisers. Sometimes we have rules or expectations upon us governing what we can and cannot use as fundraisers. To have our school know early is to make it that much easier for admin when whatever fundraiser it is starts. So it’s pre-approved, which helps work out kinks before they arise.”

However, these changes seem to have caused some frustration and dissatisfaction within some clubs.

The club president of Bollybeatz, Saumya Shruti, explains that they “are forced to have certain officer positions and … democratic votes on every action we take (ex. fundraisers, events) even if its pre-planned and wouldn’t change even if there wasn’t a majority to support it. Each change in the ‘Constitution’ of the club must be approved by the members, or a majority. We had no say in these changes and I see this as hypocritical.”

“Club regulations are strict, and it is understandable. The most difficult change has to do with the multiple steps before the approval of a fundrasier. Funds are hard to secure, and with the multiple “levels” to bypass before final approval, it makes the job even harder,” agrees Maria Ji, President of the Red Cross club.

Fundraisers with food and beverages, such as Quickly’s, Jamba Juice and doughnuts have been popular at Dougherty Valley High School for the past few years. This year, however, FCMAT has made new changes to the guidelines. Foods that don’t fit into the nutritional guidelines will have to be sold either 30 minutes before or after school.

Lucinda Lu, Vice President of Team HBV, sees some disadvantages to this new policy but also has a positive outlook on the situation.

“The new nutritional guidelines are definitely a setback that makes it harder to fundraise in the aspect of food sales, but it is also reasonable in an effort to promote healthier diet for students. The food regulations rule out a lot of options for fundraising, but serves as a challenge for all clubs to overcome this obstacle and raise money for their respective causes in a creative way.”

Although probably not as convenient for some people, there are still other ways to make more money, such as partnering up with local restaurants.

Mr. Bowen explains that “you can go team up with Fuddruckers for a night for 3 hours and make $200-400, whereas … [the doughnut and churro sales generate] about a profit of about $30 … It’s obviously frustrating  for a lot of people but I don’t think its as crippling as it might seem. It’s just that a lot of off campus things will have to happen.”

To keep clubs in check, each club gets two strikes before they are terminated. Strikes can be caused by late minutes, having no meeting at all for a certain month, breaking any rules, fraud etc.

Opposition to this new part of the new policy regarding the termination of clubs has been found to be scarce, as Yema Yang, the Co-President of the Interact club, expresses that the policy is “a little harsh, but at the same time, I think it is necessary since I’m sure in the past clubs haven’t been as diligent in turning in their minutes to Leadership. It’s also necessary to keep the clubs active so they actually achieve their original purpose of making a difference some way or another.”

Overall, the new club rules and regulations have its ups and downs and have caused a variety of responses from the clubs of DVHS. However, on a positive note, Mrs. Hanau, the Red Cross club advisor, suggests that “the new regulations will make sure that people who start clubs are learning to be organized and follow rules of an organization. It’s a great life skill!”