Should There Be More Time Allocated to Clubs and Affinity Groups?


(Artwork/Kacey Fisher’22)

Clara Shin, Online Staff Writer

Extracurricular activities are an important part of all high schoolers’ lives, whether they are members or leaders. Much time outside of school is invested in clubs, athletics, and the arts, which strikes the question: “Should PDS allocate more time to affinity groups and change club and peer group meeting times?” Freshman Madeline Cook, who is currently in three different clubs, stated, “I wish that we were given more time for extracurriculars because it’s hard to feel like you belong to a community when you only meet every couple of weeks.” Therefore, we need more time to build trust within various groups so different individuals can feel like they belong, and as of now, meeting once every two cycles for affinity groups is not cutting it.

As GLOW leader, Neha Kalra shared, “…in our sophomore year, we were given the opportunity to meet once a cycle, and I think that really worked, having the continuity was really important, especially for a group like Pride.” However, creating enough time for students to enjoy the extracurriculars offered is not that easy. In the words of Dean of Students Elizabeth Monroe, “I am absolutely aware of the issue. How we get there I think is going to take looking holistically at how many clubs and activities do we think are going to be sustainable for students…I think it’s an issue where we’re just going to have to look at it from multiple lenses. The administration is aware of the issue and we are looking at it and trying to accommodate. So, I think we are going to have some movement by next year but it just takes time to do these large-scale changes.” School administrators are well aware that students feel more time for extracurriculars is necessary; however, where that extra time will come from is the real question. Certainly, we cannot add in extra free time or unstructured blocks as it would take away from other times, such as classes or lunch breaks. 

Overall, it seems that both the administration and student body reflect a goal to allocate more time to the extracurriculars offered at PDS. The feeling of belonging is very important to the community, and affinity groups, as well as clubs, are necessary to achieve that. Meeting once every two weeks seems to not be enough for the members of the clubs to actually create a bond. Additionally,  more time would enable students to fully develop their interests and practice leadership and communication skills.