School Club or Hobby?

Lucy Bloomstran, Features Editor

One of my first memories at Burroughs was about halfway through my 6th grade visit day. Ms. LaVigne stopped to point out yet another feature of the school that I would soon call home: the clubs and activities board. I adjusted my super nerdy glasses and stared at the looming board in front of me. I was overwhelmed. There were so many clubs. A year later, I attended my first World meeting. Initially, I was terrified, but with the promise of bagels and days of gathering courage to be the only middle schooler in a room full of older kids, I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. I immediately felt at home in my new school. Whether you’re just trying to pad your resume or you’re actually genuinely interested, joining a club at Burroughs can be a great way to be a part of the community and get involved. Side note: don’t join a club just to look “well-rounded.” Do something you actually care about, or it’ll just wind up being a bad experience and a waste of time, but I digress.

Since there are so many clubs and opportunities at Burroughs, the question becomes when is a club really a club? One of the great things about JBS is that anyone can start a club, provided that it gets approved by Congress. Take it from me, one who decided on a whim to revive the film club with Kate Appleton ‘19. However, the legitimacy of our club and others has come under scrutiny lately. We’re no Montgomery Plan, but be on the lookout for future events–sorry (not sorry) for the self-promotion. Over the years, there have been a number of questionable clubs at Burroughs. Mr. Wagner recalls the Unicycle Club, which he says served as a “perfect symbol the of quirky, nerdy club that is in someway cool.” Sadly, that has since died out due to a lack of interest. According to Eliza Hurwitz ‘19, “a ‘real’ club has a public presence, is available to the whole student body, and is at least semi-active (hosts at least 2 meetings or events per year).” Unfortunately, the Unicycle Club and many others are past the point of having active leadership and members, and are thus nixed as clubs. Congress has worked to eliminate dying clubs, or clubs where nothing really seems to be going on. On the bright side, there are many, many clubs at Burroughs that the general community would consider “legitimate.” Eddie Ko ‘18 believes that a club needs three main components to become a club: “Strong leadership (either a club leader or sponsor), a strong vision and planning, meaning that the club has realistic goals and sets a plan to achieve them, and attempts at heavy JBS community involvement–trying to gain more members and grow leaders as time goes on…not just a club for a resume.”

Most importantly, if you haven’t already, join a club. I can definitively say that some of my favorite memories from Burroughs have been related to the clubs I’m a part of. And if none of the many clubs that already are in existence at Burroughs interest you, then start your own club! Chances are, there are other people in our diverse community that are interested in the same thing and would join your club. Burroughs is what you make of it, and it goes by fast, so I strongly encourage you to get involved in any way you can, and in the words of Student Body President Abdullah Brown-El ‘18, “give your best self to the school this year.”