Service Clubs Should Be More Selective


Service clubs have been around for a long time. Every year, in the spring, there is a rush to find new members to replace the graduating seniors. There is almost always a large number of students who want to join a service club so clubs in the past have had to come up with requirements and other ways to choose members. This, of course, means that a number of applicants are turned away each year. 

This spring, there is a new system where clubs are basically forced to take every student who applies as long as they complete a certain number of service hours (usually 15) and attend at least one open meeting. This new system is probably meant to help reduce the number of students who do not get into clubs or to prevent current club members from just choosing their friends. 

Because the past methods of choosing members included requiring them to attend social events and or complete interviews, some students were probably upset when they were not accepted, feeling that the decision was unfair and based on popularity.  If true, this is somewhat unfair, but the new system is not much better. Now, basically anyone can join any service club without the service club getting to make a decision. 

Of course, in theory, this could help to

create an environment of more inclusivity; however, many service clubs are built on their exclusivity and this made more people eager to join. Few people want to be a member of a club that accepts anyone. Being in a club with few to no requirements would not make the members feel very special and could limit the amount of pride they have in their club because of a lack of ownership. This, in turn, could lead to a reduction in students completing service projects due to lack of motivation. 

Service clubs are finding an issue with this rule change since it makes a big difference in their recruitment proceedings. Even the students who show no commitment to service can join, which can lead to more issues in the future. Some clubs may be forced to accept more members now than can fit in one classroom, making it difficult to find a location in which to hold meetings. A large number of members could also be difficult for club officers and advisers to keep track of, adding to their workload.

 Exclusivity should be a part of service clubs; it can ensure that the most dedicated and committed members are chosen to be a part of these clubs. Although it may seem to many that service clubs only recruit the most popular students, this ultimately is not true.  Maybe the methods used to select students could use an upgrade, but just accepting everyone who applies is not the answer.  

Overall, service clubs should not be forced to accept everyone.