MGCI is known for the multitude of clubs available to students. Students run clubs ranging from Key Club, the world’s largest global volunteerorganization for high school students, to more niche clubs, such as aviation club. Lunchtimes at Garneau are constantly being filled with busy students rushing to fill out forms, fundraise, and recruit more members. Ryan Lin discusses the state of clubs at MGCI through a hypothetical scenario. All information in this article was gathered through interviews, and a survey with a sample size of 50 students.
The familiar lunch bell is drowned out by the chatter of classmates, snapping of binders, and the scraping noises of chairs being pushed in. Lunch has finally arrived. You wander the halls with a meal in hand, wondering how to spend the next 48 minutes. You find yourself drawn to the door of one of the 71 clubs at MCGI; to attend, or not to attend?
For roughly half of all students surveyed, their genuine interest and enthusiasm for whatever was happening on the other side of the door motivated them to join the club. Some 9% of club attenders caught a glimpse of their friends inside, decided that they simply could not be having fun without them, and ran in to join them. Another 6% were particularly hungry that day, and the free cupcakes that the club offered were simply too strong to resist.
Of course, you may not be part of any of those groups, but rather are a part of the 27.8% who are content with their favourite spot in the halls. Perhaps you are not able to dedicate the 4.3 hours per week required of an average clubgoer. It’s also possible that you simply don’t find any of the clubs interesting or to your particular taste. But, if you were to step through those doors, what would you see? You will probably be greeted by familiar faces, especially if they hold a leadership position in the club. If you run into someone who is a member of 4 different clubs (nearly twice the amount of the average student), chances are that they founded at least one of them.
To determine if there were any striking differences between the extent to which students participated in clubs and their thoughts on the club, the results from the survey were divided into three sections: club presidents and/or founders, club executives, and general members.
Out of the three categories, club executives seemed to enjoy their experiences the most, with the highest average satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5. On average, they participate in 3.2 clubs each. General members reported the lowest satisfaction of 4 out of 5. Those who worked through the ranks to obtain presidency report an average satisfaction of 4.2 out of 5. These students also seemed to focus their efforts on fewer clubs, averaging only 2.8 clubs while dedicating 2.2 hours per week to each. They have a 96.4% chance of staying with a club for 2 or more years, in comparison to the 83.9% of founding-presidents, and the even lower percentages for founders, execs, and general members.
Interestingly, club founders reported the lowest satisfaction with the existing selection of clubs, with nearly one-third wishing that they could create more. Perhaps this was what motivated them to start up a club in the first place. Next to the club founders are the execs, with 30.7% voicing displeasure for the current variety. In contrast, general clubgoers are rather content, only 15.8% reporting dissatisfaction. As you sit down and unzip your lunch bag, there is suddenly a commotion at the door: a member of the Student Council has arrived. He or she declares that opinions expressed in the next 10 minutes will not result in any hard feelings, and rightfully so. Across students, the satisfaction of SAC support for clubs is a whole point lower than that of the teachers and administration, a mediocre 2.8 out of 5.
Immediately, the president rushes over and demands for more funding. Along with difficulty communicating with the Student Council, presidents and founders cite a lack of financial resources as the main reason for their 2.5 out of 5 rating, the lowest among all three groups surveyed. There appears to be a negative correlation between students’ level of involvement in clubs, and their satisfaction with SAC’s level of assistance to clubs. That is, the higher up their position, the less impressed they are. It is possible that the more they care about clubs, making them more cognisant of of flaws in the system. Nonetheless, the results are generally positive. The executives and general members around you raise their hands and repeat the same complaints: the obscurity of the clubs fair, the lack of a Facebook forum for clubs to attract new members, and the need for a published list of registered clubs. They have a slightly better opinion of SAC, averaging 3 out of 5.
Perhaps it isn’t your place to point this out, but most of these requested functions already exist—it just seems that most students aren’t aware of them. Before long, the bell rings once again. As you pack up your uneaten lunch and trudge to class, you suddenly realize how much you needed the lighthearted and relaxing environment to recharge. Despite all the criticism, was fun spending time with those that share your interests, even if it was just for lunch.