New club bylaws stir up controversy

Strict enforcement of DV club bylaws set by the FCMAT have invoked resentment from club officers due to new regulations and budget forms. Present and aspiring club presidents are also worried about the potential loss of autonomy as Leadership and administration tackle the overwhelming influx of clubs through attempts to combine clubs with similar purposes.

Control over Dougherty Valley clubs has continued due to the multitude of “plastic” clubs coming into play each year, only to disappear halfway throughout. Due to DV’s competitive environment inherent in the school, Dougherty Valley students often participate in clubs solely for a resume booster. Dougherty Valley’s club culture reveals a lack of passion because many students fall prey to the pressures of obtaining as many leadership positions as possible to smack onto their college applications. A quick perusal of Club Day last year exposes an almost outrageous amount of incredibly similar clubs, which often fall among the lines of community service. Though service is undoubtedly a beneficial thing, the sheer amount of service clubs DVHS houses is somewhat off-putting.  In the past, administration has tried to enforce stricter application processes, but these methods have proven insufficient, as “plastic clubs” seem to be a persisting problem.

This year, students wonder why the club bylaws are enforced now, as they seem to have popped out of nowhere.

Head of Campus Life Christopher Bried, reveals that the school is on audit, and therefore, Leadership needs to solidify the club bylaws “so that they are concrete because we’re being super careful about budgets and fundraising.”

Clubs will now adhere to rigid guidelines from the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). Among these guidelines includes a rule that states that clubs cannot have co-officers unless they have over 150 active members.                                  

Most club officers, who have well established their executive board, are outraged.

Key Club President Rose Baatarchuluu believes the rule to be “ridiculous”, elaborating further on the fundraiser budget form, which requires clubs to detail their fundraisers for the entire year.

Baatarchuluu says, “The fundraising budget form is unrealistic and I doubt any club will [follow] it because clubs never know what they’ll do later on, date-wise.”

Although many club officers believe that the fundraising budget form is unnecessary, Bried highlights the benefits of knowing the dates of fundraisers ahead of time.

“We want clubs to have the best fundraiser as possible so that no two clubs are selling, for example, boba on the same day.”

In addition, the fundraising budget form is not an entirely new aspect of the club bylaws, as clubs were required to complete it last year.

Other clubs are irked that they are forced to turn in a budget form, even if they are not a fundraising club.

“I don’t see a need to turn a budget that says zero on it because that’s a waste of paper and time for both me and my club’s advisor,” said Bibhav Poudel, President of five clubs: Science Bowl, Quiz Bowl, Physics Club, Chemistry Club and HOSA.

Poudel also expresses his dislike for the 150 active members for co-officers rule, asserting that “even 30 or 40 members need co-officers because managing a club is hard.”

Overall, reactions from club presidents have been mostly negative, with many feeling discouraged with the new requirements. Some, however, see the situation in a more positive light.

Speech and Debate Club President Sameer Ziaee points out, “I personally think [the club bylaws] are needed. With the amount of clubs we have at our school, I think Leadership is doing a good job to take out the clubs that are perceived to simply die out within two or three months.”

During the club application process, in an effort to decrease the overwhelming amount of applications, totaling a record-breaking 143 this year, similar clubs were asked to combine. Many clubs are uncomfortable with combining , as they not only have established their officer boards, but also feel that their purposes and mission statements do not align and cannot be generalized into one basic aspect, such as “community service”.

Baatarchuluu dislikes how “nit picky” Leadership appears in trying to combine clubs.

“They tried to make UNICEF and Red Cross combine, and that’s ridiculous because they’re both huge clubs that are founded based off of separate organizations,” she said. “You can’t just combine clubs like that. Especially for clubs like Key Club; if they ever considered combining us with other clubs, club charters cost a lot of money and to lose a club name and club, the charter will waste even more money from the school.”

Leadership teacher Mr. Daniel Bowen understands that many club officers are not happy about the issue but explains, “We are adhering to state standards. I’m aware it’s difficult to comply, but it’s out of my hands.”

Administration and Leadership hopes that through the stricter enforcement of the club bylaws, students will deter from creating “plastic clubs”.