Mrs. Dean Revamps the Club Process

A few teachers and student leaders share their experiences with starting new clubs

Kelson Hopkins

More stories from Kelson Hopkins

Bonnie and Clyde
March 9, 2023

While joining clubs is a common activity amongst incoming freshmen and students looking to add to their resume, the process of actually creating a club is not commonly known.

“As a new AP, I was assigned to manage clubs, and so it took some time to learn the processes, and to figure out how clubs have run here in the past,” assistant principal Shirley Dean said. “I decided to go ahead recently and update [them] because I wanted to make it cleaner.”

When the Debate club was created, senior and president of the Debate club Sai Duggirala first went through the steps of getting the concept of the club approved.

“I talked to our newest debate teacher for the club [and then] we filled out a form for the new club that we were going to start,” Duggirala said.

Having an approved idea is only the first step; the club also needed to meet more requirements to be official.

“For a club to be official, one of the main things is that they have to have a monitor or a sponsor to watch over their club,” Dean said. “The clubs here at Rouse are all student-led, but it’s still important that we have an adult who’s there to manage them, to help book the rooms or help with money if needed.”

Other challenges that the Debate club faced were recruiting enough participants through club promotion. 

“I’m a very social, outgoing person, so I talk to a lot of people,” senior and vice president of the debate club Myra Salemohmed said. “I’ll particularly go to my friends who are relatively open to speaking in front of people but I also try to push it on to my more introverted friends because it always helps, and I feel like debate club does have a platform now.”

In addition to the Debate club, the Dungeons and Dragons club also faces the same issue of promotion.

“I found posters to be pretty beneficial, especially for the D&D club, and of course the sponsor can add to the school announcements and that also helps, but I think posters [are] pretty solid,” English teacher and D&D club sponsor John Manning said. “There’s not a whole lot of posters around campus so people tend to notice them.”

Leading a club and facing all of the challenges involved can help students find their forte and build confidence.

“It’s surprising to say, but I was an introverted person for a while of my life, but I feel like once I joined debate, and once I kind of surrounded myself in this safe environment where I could speak on real life issues, I kind of became more comfortable having a voice and having an opinion, especially if that opinion differs,” Salemohmed said. “I wouldn’t be doing this interview if it weren’t for the confidence that debate helped me build, so it definitely did benefit me in the long run.”

In addition to the time and effort that students put into the production of clubs, sponsor teachers also donate their time to ensure that clubs are successful.

“Last year I was here every week for an hour after school, and I’m not paid for that time,” Manning said. “We haven’t done T-shirts in any of the clubs yet, and actually we’re working on doing T-shirts for the first time with D&D club. It’s a huge hassle because it all has to be documented so that the district is clear that the funds are being used just for that club, and it’s not like some racket or marketing scam or something like that.”

Clubs can be created anytime, whether in the beginning or toward the end of the year. If a student is interested in creating a club, they must first meet with Ms. Dean, and fill out the new club proposal form.

“If there’s something someone’s passionate for, or something somebody wants to share with other people about, and they think it’s cool or people would enjoy doing it, for sure, [they should start a club]” Duggirala said.