Key Club needs to start opening doors
Abigail Bessler, Photography Editor
April 6, 2011
Filed under Commentary
I joined Key Club at the beginning of my freshman year and I remember being excited about its potential. Throngs of students huddled together in a huge room for the first meeting and the officers discussed plans for the year. They emphasized making Key Club more involved in the community. Two years later, that goal still has not been achieved.
With each meeting throughout the year, membership declined. We met in a smaller classroom. Meetings were short and service projects were rare. The only opportunities for service hours came in the form of monthly Martha’s Table meetings, in which some members brought in peanut-butter and jelly to make sandwiches to go to a local food assistance center. Although this project was a good idea, most members did not take it seriously and we never saw the impact of our actions.
Realistically, the main reason for students to join Key Club at the moment is not helping the community. Students join in hopes of International Baccalaureate CAS hours or in hopes of beefing up their college application.
I was elected as treasurer this year, but soon I had to face the facts: our club needs a huge change of heart. On the weekend of March 25, the other officers and I went to the Capital District Conference (DCON) in Crystal City and began to fully understand how we had not yet risen to the challenge.
As we sat in the main hall at DCON, watching club after club and member after member talk about what Key Club meant to them and how they have impacted their community, all I felt was a strong sense of guilt. Guilt that we, as a Key Club, had not reached out like we could have. Guilt that I, as a citizen of the privileged world of Arlington, Virginia, had not tried to help those less fortunate.
Mrs. Christina Steury, a world history teacher and the Key Club adult sponsor, commented that what we found out at DCON was not a new discovery. “Every year, the club officers come back with the realization that there are other clubs that are super-involved and that our club is not,” Mrs. Steury commented.
On April 5, 2011, I met with the other officers for next year’s Key Club in Mrs. Steury’s room to discuss our plans for changing the club. Ideas were considered and rejected, plans were formulated and then discarded, but one central theme remained the same – we were going to attempt to make next years’ Key Club radically different from this year’s.
Potential service plans we considered included collecting shoes, organizing a race for a cause, and helping with a Kiwanis pancake breakfast. One problem is the lack of excitement Key Club generates at the school. Next year, the club will be promoting itself through videos and posters that hopefully will increase quality membership.
The question of whether or not these plans and service projects are implemented depends on next year’s president, Emily Cook (who is also a Crossed Sabres staffer). She will be working with our new officers—vice president Niti Paudyal, secretary Emma Klein, and event scheduler Emily Watson.
As we stood around the desks of Mrs. Steury’s room, talking about future plans and imagining the possibilities of Key Club, Cook looked at each one of us and said, “We have a lot of work to do, so we better start now.”