The Future Fate of Clubs and Activities

Ally G.

The Idaho State Board of Education has provided the option for students to “opt-out” of funding student clubs and activities, a change that will be put into effect for future school years, starting in 2022.

When students think of the college experience, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind for many of us are which clubs we will join.

After the decision made by the Idaho State Board of Education, an unexpected question has arisen:
how much will the “opt out” choice affect the future of our clubs at LC

The Vice President for Student Affairs of LC State, Dr. Hanson, and President of the ASLCSC, Caden
Massey, helped to shed light and provided answers on the matter.

“The ultimate impact on that would be that if enough people opt out, there would be a reduction in the amount of fees going to ASLCSC,” explained Dr. Hanson.

Dr. Hanson shared that the decision coming from the board was not necessarily defunding the college’s clubs, but offered the opportunity for students to make the decision
on their own.

The question is about whether students will want to continue paying the fee to support clubs and activities at LC State.

“It’s mostly clubs which are really going to feel the effects of this,”
Massey confirmed.

When Massey was asked how many students would be impacted by this change, he gave a surprising response.

“You could say every single student at LCSC could be affected by it,” ASLCSC President Massey observed, “basically anybody that lives on campus will be affected by it directly.”

The reach of this new change is still yet to be determined, and Dr. Hanson said that it could go one of two ways.

“The best case scenario is that students will, as they’re offered this opportunity to ‘opt out’ of paying that portion of the fee, that they will say: nope, no, I think it’s great to have these things here, and I’m perfectly fine paying it,” Dr. Hanson said. Then, there’s the other direction.

“The worst case scenario,” Dr. Hanson began, “is that we don’t end up with enough money to really support student clubs of any kind, and we have too few students who are willing or able to pay the dues, and so we see a far fewer number of clubs available than we’re used to.”

Of course, it is important to remember that this is the absolute worst case scenario, and it does not mean that it will come to fruition.

Dr. Hanson and Massey both cultivated forward-thinking ideas to help student activities and clubs in the future.

“ASLCSC can match fundraisers, so our current plan right now,” Massey said, “is we’re going to make it so clubs can fundraise themselves with things like Jar Wars…we’re giving them an opportunity to raise money for themselves.”

Dr. Hanson added that there are other institutions who are also making plans. “We’re still in the process of working with the other institutions,” Dr. Hanson shares, “We’re trying to all have a similar process for doing this.”

That process is still being constructed and both Dr. Hanson and Caden Massey shared in their respective interviews that they have been at work crafting plans in response to the possible lack of funding.

“The plan would just simply be that we will work with our student government leaders, as we do every year, and we will just say: don’t set your student club budget just yet,” Dr. Hanson explained.

His plan continued, “Once we know how much money is going to be coming in for those purposes, set your budget against whatever that dollar amount is,” Dr. Hanson said they would be working with the student government leaders closely in the future.

Dr. Hanson shared statements on alternative ways clubs may resort to for funding.

“I think the other impact could be that I think you’ll see more student clubs implementing dues, membership dues, and things of that sort,” Dr. Hanson said, “Which is perfectly fine, perfectly legitimate.”

Attempts were made to prevent the Idaho State Board of Education’s decision, but for now LC’s student government and leaders are doing all that is possible to prepare for whatever the outcome may be.

“What it will mean is that student clubs and organizations are going to have to step up their promotion of the importance of having those opportunities to other students,” Dr. Hanson added before concluding.

While the fate of the funding of clubs and activities may be undecided, Dr. Hanson shared what he knew to be true.
“I’ve always seen LC students that rise to the occasion, and I think they will this time,” Dr. Hanson said.