The Newspaper of Irvington High School

ASG Investigation Week: Students Frustrated With ASG’s Involvement in Clubs

February 4, 2021

ASG’s involvement has always been important to the formation and existence of the more than fifty clubs at Irvington’s campus. As a result, the club creation processes has been a concern of many students. The Irvington Voice sent out an ASG evaluation survey including questions covering the student body’s opinion on ASG’s handling of clubs. When asked whether or not ASG should have a heavy role in ICC and SIA decisions, 18.5% (80 students) disagreed and 12.0% (52 students) agreed. Through our survey, some students expressed their grievances with the current system and suggested certain implementations they felt would work. 

Master Calendar forms, for example, are a tenet of Irvington’s club system, and are required to be turned in two weeks before a club holds any official events, aside from general club meetings. During the ASG Presidential and Vice Presidential elections, several candidates praised Irvington’s use of Master Calendar forms, which differentiated Irvington from other Fremont high schools. 

Multiple club officers, however, voiced their displeasure with the Master Calendar forms required for club events, making statements such as, “I’m not very satisfied with the Master Calendar form requirement,” or even calling to “get rid of Master Calendar forms” altogether. For many club officers, they feel the two week deadline to submit club events is frivolous at best and stifling at worst. 

Another survey respondent stated, “Making it harder to have a club and create community options that are not academic has been very frustrating. It should not be difficult to be an advisor during these times when students and teachers are stressed, and need community and to continue clubs…” 

Jonathan Wu (12), the Secretary of ASG and Executive Director of ASG’s Procedural Committee explains why ASG imposes the deadline, and mentions that deadlines will go back to being three weeks long once in-person learning commences.

 “I think where it is right now is okay for the virtual space,” Wu states. “The reason why we have these deadlines is because our school is a public entity. So, there’s people outside of our school that [regulate the dates].” 

Despite some students’ criticism of Master Calendars, Wu felt that the forms should continue to be required for club events. 

“Master Calendars are a way for us to: 1: Know what clubs are doing, 2: Help [officers] publicize them as part of ASG if [they] want to, and 3: Put [events] on the school website,” said Wu. “So it’s also a different avenue for getting your event publicized because it can reach a different, wider group of people as well.”

Besides Master Calendars, other students were displeased with ASG’s acceptance—or lack thereof—of clubs.

 “All clubs [should be] accepted on a probationary basis unless [they] already exist,” said an anonymous senior. “The question of its survival should be a question of its actual merit to the student body and its actual performance, not what club officers or ASG think its merit or performance would be.”

Anika Dixit (12), Executive Director of ASG’s Students In Action Committee, which manages service clubs and is responsible for service club approvals, defended the current system being used and said that the current selection process ensures that budding clubs diversify the current service community and prevents multiple clubs from serving the same purpose. Dixit then went on to elaborate on the help that SIA provides when clubs do not immediately get approved. 

“When we don’t approve a club, we actually call them and have a discussion on things that they could improve on their club, and why they’re not ready yet,” said Dixit. “We then set them off on things they need to fix, so they know what to do next time they apply. We do need to maybe find a way to deal with it more effectively in the event that we get even more of an increase of applicants, but once you start pumping out clubs… it oversaturates the service community.”

In regards to the involvement that ASG has in established clubs, Mr. Ballin, the advisor for the Performing Arts Club, had some suggestions for ASG. 

“I’d like to see them go even further electronic, I think we’re kind of in the dark ages with some of this paperwork,” said Mr. Ballin. “An electronic finance system that everybody can use will be great, but that’s a big investment.” 

At the same time, he found that ASG did a decent job overall transitioning to Irvington’s new online format. “I think they did a nice job,” Mr. Ballin said. “I was able to adapt online pretty well, with purchasing and spending money.” 

Conversely, a student felt they deserved more efficient budget control. “The current process is slow if we need to make quick, miscellaneous purchases,” an anonymous respondent stated. “The officers work tirelessly for their clubs, and a little extra control would be nice.”

Jeffrey Cao (12), director of Irvington’s Inter-Club Council, which handles club outreach and acceptances, gave his thoughts on the situation with clubs. 

“Whether or not people like ICC or hate ICC, what matters is that people are enjoying their time at Irvington and their clubs,” Cao said. “So as long as the clubs can operate, as long as they’re doing fine… [I] don’t think we need any change.”

Overall, students and club officers want transparency when it comes to ASG’s involvement in club procedures, as well as more authority over their own clubs and being able to establish new clubs more easily. In the end, whether or not new policies are implemented to ease current concerns is for ASG and the student body to negotiate. 

About the Contributors
Photo of Isabella Lam
Isabella Lam, Opinions Editor
Isabella Lam (12) is an Opinions Editor for the Irvington Voice and is excited for her third year of journalism. She enjoys baking and spends an unfortunate amount of time looking through random Wikipedia articles. Most of the time, you’ll find her playing games or hanging out in Booster Park doing absolutely nothing.
Photo of Mykal Mashack
Mykal Mashack, Humor Editor
Mykal (12) is happy to be back for a third year at The Voice, this time as Humor Editor. Off the record, she likes pretending to be productive, writing, and reading. If she’s not doing any of those things, she’s trying not to get pulled over for her bad driving skills.

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