Our View: Clubs should meet during Enrichment

Students cannot seem to ignore the rumors that are constantly circulating through school. The most recent is word that the administration will be implementing a new policy in which clubs will not be allowed to meet during the Enrichment hour.

Hearing this, many students have been confused or against this policy, thinking it is rather “dumb” or “stupid.”

For the past several years, the various clubs we have used time during enrichment to hold meetings and participate in in-school activities. This has been a privilege to students as Hereford is the only school in

Baltimore County that has an Enrichment hour. All other schools in the county must hold club meetings either before or after school.

“I think it is a waste of resources,” Ryan Pindale (’17) said. “We have Enrichment in order to expand our horizons, and not allowing us to use that time for clubs just seems counter intuitive.”

However, students are getting the wrong idea of this “new” policy, which actually isn’t “new” at all.

“We should have been doing this all year long,” Principal Joe Jira said. “I need to clarify that clubs will still be allowed to meet during Enrichment, but they must create outside of school opportunities as well, whether that be having meetings before or after school, or holding more outside of school activities.”

Each club at Hereford needs to be sponsored by an adviser, and in this environment, the advisers are teachers, who get paid a stipend in order to work with the group of students in the club.

At the beginning of each school year, the advisers are given contracts that state their duties and outline the amount of in-school and out-of-school hours needed between meetings and activities.

“Kids should not see a lot of difference and change,” Jira said. “I sent an email out to all of the teachers and the purpose of it was just to remind them of their duties in order to stay in good standing with BCPS, which means not having clubs meet only during the school day.”

Many clubs at Hereford already meet the standards on the contract. For example, Key Club, which is advised by English teacher Laura Blama, participates in many outside of school activities in addition to meeting during Enrichment every other week.

“We do a lot of different service activities,” Brooke Hamman (’17), president of Key Club said. “We hosted a holiday party for the children of the House of Ruth, we made casseroles for a homeless shelter, and we volunteered at a locally-based organization called Cure HHT.”

Some students may complain about the fact that they have after school sports or other obligations, such as a job. For those involved in sports, it would obviously be more beneficial for the club(s) to meet from 7-7:30 am, but according to the athletic director, Mike Kalisz, if an adviser lets the coach know what days the club will be meeting after school, the student(s) will be excused for a certain amount of time.

Despite this, many complaints and problems could still arise. Some coaches might have complaints about athletes coming to practice late on certain days. Also, if the athlete misses warm-ups, that isn’t really benefiting them in the long run because not getting in a proper warm-up means increased risk of injury.

Aside from the drawbacks of this, there are many benefits as well. Emphasizing that clubs need to be more active outside of the school day only helps each club and each individual within the club. Outside of school service activities provide students with good experiences and helps them get more involved in the community. This will also expand the horizons of the clubs here at Hereford as he clubs will get to participate and engage in new activities that they may have not done before, which could also draw attention to persuade even more students to join a certain club.

Despite these benefits however, many students agree that club activities have an appropriate place in Enrichment as is. Hereford doesn’t have to be just like the rest of the schools in the county.