New Year, New Club Rules

South changes its rules for creating and maintaining clubs in the 2023-2024 school year
South Forsyth’s National Spanish Honor Society is having their Oct. meeting in Dra. Green’s room. Members enjoyed socializing and eating cultural foods.
South Forsyth’s National Spanish Honor Society is having their Oct. meeting in Dra. Green’s room. Members enjoyed socializing and eating cultural foods.
Matthew Andrei Craig/The Bird Feed

When you enter South Forsyth High School, there’s an abundance of organizations for students to find a place to belong. Ranging from the Economics Club to the Pokemon Club, there’s truly a club for everyone. 

However, few are aware of the behind-the-scenes processes required for an organization to officially join this pantheon of options. 

South recently implemented a new club “by-laws” requirement for all South-affiliated organizations, requiring student officers and faculty sponsors of each club to fill out a list of questions regarding their organization.

Beginning the Club Creation Process

The new bylaws ask questions similar to the SFHS Club/Organization Proposal Form, which is a requirement for a student or staff member requesting to create a new school club. The form’s questions range from its objectives to its potential finances.  Clubs are obligated to follow a process and gain approval from an “administrators before operating as an official club under the South Forsyth name.

“If it is unapproved, it is not a South Forsyth High School Club,” said Coach Keith Gravitt, the Athletic Director at SFHS. 

Before even filling out the form and beginning the process, a significant factor for a student to consider is finding a staff member to sponsor their potential club. 

We have a very diverse group of students of many different passions.

— Coach Gravitt, SFHS Athletic Director

Sponsoring a Club

“Sponsoring a club is a time commitment,” said Emma Daklouche, AP Language teacher and sponsor of three different clubs. 

Sponsors are required to attend each club meeting and—just like students—sponsors have to plan on which days and at what time each club is planning on meeting. 

“As much as I would like to sponsor a club, I am also trying to maintain a work-life balance,” Daklouche continued.

Both teachers and students should consider work-life balance before taking on additional activities or responsibilities.

“If I have too many things on my plate already, then I don’t have time,” said Lidan Zhou, AP Computer Science Applications teacher and sponsor of six different clubs. 

Another factor Zhou takes into consideration when deciding whether or not to say yes to sponsoring is if “it is relevant to what [she’s] teaching.”

After finding a sponsor and getting approval from the administrators, it would now be the responsibility of student leaders and the sponsor(s) to complete the new club bylaws requirement and submit it to the front office.

“I decided all of the bylaws with [my sponsor],” said Mahanya Nimmagada, senior at South and founder of the Economics Club. “He left a lot of it up to me, where it was my decision of how many officers we would have, how often our club would be meeting, [and] what competition we’d be registering for.” 

Why Were the Bylaws Established?

There have been some issues regarding the establishment of some clubs, as not all clubs that are requested to be created will reach the end of the process. 

“Duplication of similar clubs’ offerings is the most [common] reason [a potential club is rejected],” said Coach Gravitt. 

With so many clubs at the school, it’s hard for potential club founders to know about all of the ones that exist. 

“South has so many clubs– if there is a club that already exists and has similar goals, I might direct prospective club leaders to the pre-existing club,” said Daklouche. 

However, having so many clubs for one interest or topic doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

“I feel like even if there’s one thing you’re interested in, you can find five different clubs for that one interest,” said Nimmagada. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing because, maybe they have their own niche things, people fit in with different groups and they find different groups in the different clubs.” 

Another issue created by so many clubs starting up, which the bylaws may address, is the longevity of each organization. 

“Many [clubs] have been created and when the student [who started] the club graduates, it no longer has as strong of an advocate to keep it active,” said Gravitt. 

The sustainability of such clubs is one aspect the new by-laws requirement seeks to address. 

“I think the bylaws were established so that every club that’s new to South can be very effective,” said Nimmagada. “They won’t just be there for a name, but they’re actually involving members and they’re contributing to the student experience.”

Impacts of the By-Laws

However, the question remains: Do these by-laws actually have an effect on the clubs being started at South Forsyth High?

“I think it has made a difference because I’ve definitely seen an increase in club meetings and club participation this year, especially with Club Blitz,” said Nimmagada.

In addition to the uniqueness of clubs increasing, these by-laws are strengthening each club’s foundation, whether the club is just starting out or has been running for a long time. 

“As long as the by-laws are being followed and the quality of each club is being maintained, the school will only improve as a result,” said Tisha Kaur, junior at South and founder of the Sikh Student Association. 

Ultimately, clubs at South will continue to be created as students continue to explore their interests and expand their desire to share with others. 

“[Students] want to leave a mark on the school, something that they can leave behind that other students can grow from,” said Nimmagada. “It contributes a lot to the students doing something that they never thought they could do.”

Find a club that fits your interests here: South Forsyth High School Clubs/Organizations Overview

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About the Contributors
Charley Sarmiento
Charley Sarmiento, Editor-in-Chief
Charley Sarmiento is a junior at South Forsyth High School, and this is her second year writing for The Bird Feed. She is so excited to be coming back as the Editor-in-Chief, and even more thrilled to make amazing memories with the staff. Sarmiento is more than ready to continue exploring the vast world of topics to write about and developing her skills, especially in videography and photography. You will most likely find her binge-watching shows/movies, reading books, or drawing. No doubt she will usually be procrastinating or sleeping. No matter what she’s doing, she enjoys listening to music, and you’ll probably even catch her singing her heart out… she may not be good at singing but she tries. Although she loves science, she hasn’t decided on her career path yet, so she spends a lot of time exploring different interests. She adores talking to new people and making new friends, so don’t be scared to say hello! 
Matt Craig
Matt Craig, Opinions Editor
Matt Craig is currently a senior at South Forsyth High School and is very excited to begin his first year writing for The Bird Feed. He looks forward to honing his writing and photography skills as well as making many lifelong memories on this staff. He spends a lot of time playing his guitar and studies fretboard theory in his free time. As a member of the Cross Country team, he enjoys going on long nature runs while tuning into a podcast. Matt loves listening to several diverse genres of music from artists like Laufey, NewJeans, Frank Ocean, and Bad Bunny. He enjoys watching all kinds of sports, and he loves cheering for Atlanta’s teams. You will most likely find him watching Netflix, scrolling through Twitter, or taking long naps. Matt dreams of becoming a Congressman in Washington D.C. He loves meeting new people, so don’t hesitate to say hello!