Understanding the ASG Club Approval Process

Emily Joe and Annika

Recent ASG club approval decisions have fueled several debates and called into question ASG’s lack of transparency through the club approval and appeal process. There has been conflicts between ASG and several club officers over the consistency and practicality of the club rejection decisions. To make the processes more transparent and less ambiguous to students, The Voice took a closer look into the club registration process.

“We release the club registration form, and after they turn in the packet, with everything correctly filled out with the necessary requirements, they get an interview with Alvina and me,” ASG club commissioner Kareena Wu (11) said. “Then they [present] their proposed club to us, either during lunch or advisory. During the ASG Business meetings, we give the class the information about the clubs and the class votes on it.”

In addition, ASG used to send out an email to the club officers explaining why they were not approved, but ultimately decided against it. Consequently, rejected club presidents are unable to understand the reasoning behind the student body’s decision.

“It’s mostly based on the class votes, and we don’t get a specific reason from each person when they say no [to the club]” Wu said.

Despite ASG’s efforts to make club application as reasonable as possible, several students disagree with ASG’s club application and approval process in light of the miscommunication between the two. Both past and future club officers have opined that a minority of ASG members holds too much power over the delegation of clubs, especially in regards to approving or rejecting clubs. Senior Tyler Zhu, the president of the denied programming club, expresses his concerns towards what he considers a flawed club appeal process.

“I feel like the appeal process was deliberately set up against your ability to appeal,” Zhu said. “They gave us four minutes to present, and you can’t possibly explain your club’s goal in four minutes. One of the things that really aggravated us was they brought up points afterwards in an email [about] why we shouldn’t be a club that we could’ve answered immediately in the Q&A section where we could’ve addressed the entire ASG audience. The biggest thing is, no one really knows what happens [in the approval process].”

Activities Director Mr. Willer said that ASG also has limitations on clubs, and the process for approval and appeal is mostly based on the student body’s opinion and their vote.

“Sometimes we get the vote right, sometimes, we get the vote wrong, this is how [the] democratic process works.”
As a result, ASG has an appeal process for club presidents who feel like their clubs should be reconsidered. However, ASG faces another limitation considering that most of the clubs choose to appeal. Additionally, clubs are given ten minutes to present and answer questions about their club to all of ASG.

“We do that simply because we have a lot of stuff to do, and it adds up. We have six to seven appeals, so we get 70 minutes of us listening to their presentations,” Willer said. “On top of that, we still have our internal discussions, which take up more time. It may feel like a short time to the clubs, but from our perspective, we’re spending days on this.”

ASG is also planning to make changes to the club registration process by elongating the registration packet, requiring a parents signature for the petition, and ensuring that the advisor for clubs acknowledge that they are also responsible for the club.

“You want the officers to have an interest in the topic, so they’re really passionate about it.” Wu said. “So the longer and harder registration [packet] would ensure that they take the time and effort to actually do it so it’s not just something anyone can do.”