Why do Lincoln clubs die out?

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Students at Lincoln are interested in a wide variety of subjects. As a result of these passions, school years often begin with a great number of new clubs whose creators are eager to lead. However, not all of these clubs continue as the school year passes, even despite their leaders’ sustained interest in the material.

Last year, Juniors Gabrielle Donaldson and Emma Brauser started the Academic Decathlon club together. 

“The purpose of Academic Decathlon was to introduce an academic extracurricular that was for everyone,” Donaldson explains. “It had art, science, math and English sections and was inclusive of all GPAs.”

Both she and Brauser were excited to participate in the decathlon, but faced difficulty meeting requirements set by the decathlon’s organization. 

“We tried to coordinate with one of the vice principals for a while, but she eventually stopped responding to our emails, so it was difficult to get the school registered,” Brauser said.

The two were ultimately unable to continue Academic Decathlon due to difficulty advertising it to students with the range of GPAs needed to participate in the competition.

Junior Sadie Nelson’s issue with her club, Justice for Our Youth (J.O.Y.), stemmed from a different problem. 

“My club was meant to raise awareness about mass incarceration’s effect on youth here in Oregon,” Nelson said. “I’m still passionate about it and would like to continue it, but running a club is a lot of work and I don’t have a lot of free time.”

Last year, Nelson had a full schedule. She was on both the Constitution and Speech and debate teams, and was ultimately too busy to continue J.O.Y..

Asian Cultural Alliance faced further dissimilar problems. 

Last year Junior Malia Chan co-founded the club to “create an environment for students, Asian or otherwise, to discover new aspects of Asian cultures,” she said. “Our goal was to confront stereotypes about our generation of Asian Americans through art, music and pop culture.”

Although she, too, still cares about the material, the club faced problems both internally and with the school. 

“My co-founder switched schools and she was a driving force in getting students to join,” Chan said. Eventually, the club ended up consisting mostly of supportive white friends, which while not a bad thing, “negated the purpose of the club.”

Chan said that Asian Cultural Alliance also ran into other limitations. Ideas such as movie screenings and dumpling-making parties “were shot down by the school. There were a lot of restrictions.”

Currently, there are 96 student-run clubs at Lincoln. The Cardinal Times plans to survey which clubs are still existing at the end of the first semester and will report the findings.