Northwestern has for the most part well met our expectations.Staff beyond expectations. Ongoing problem with activities/satisfaction of many kids (yes, they are kids)
Many clubs interview students and pick who they want to include, Often kids who party - for instance the sailing club. It is not at all about teaching/developing skills - however, info and tours of the campus highlight it for all . I’ve heard six not nice stories on sororities, in which girls leave and take any other housing offered. Similar stories for business clubs/ arts organizations - WaaMu SHow, MeeOw Improv, Dillo Day, etc… are all hyped by admissions and yet only accept a few students. Aside from a potential “we like you or we don’t aspect” there is also the question of experience. Not all students will have direct experience at this point, but they all will have some thing to offer - that’s why they are here. The kids interviewing them don’t have the experience/want to understand this - an adult will. Leads to next point. Adult staff of the school state that “while organizations used to be able to select who they want to join, this is not allowed any more - unless if it is for an acapella group (of course!), instrumental. etc…”) When I spoke to older undergrads and grad students they all said, exclusion goes on all the time and the problem is that faculty/admin are not /barely involved. So - let staff take a more active part - yes a few students will be upset by this - but more will be happy. Oh, yeah, it’s more fair.
Arguments will be that they allow a few students because SO many will join who just want to put the club/ org on their resume and do not plan on participating. So? If a student doesn’t show up to say 3 commitments - bye bye - try next year.
Another argument is that this helps kids develop skills, build resiliency, etc… No - only some. All should have equal opportunities to join. Those with leadership skills will become leaders no matter what.
Greek life and some clubs are all about keeping people out. It is great that there are multicultural, etc…clubs gaining traction , but that only does so much. If a kid wants to develop skills in an area or be exposed to something new, they should be able to do so at college with nothing in their way. Northwestern limits much. Even research opportunities and jobs - for almost all of them, especially the meaningful ones, you have to have work-study. The school provides funds for (all?) the organizations I mentioned - that means the parents pay for these club, etc… even the ones our kids cannot participate in.
So many of the kids are lonely and unable to meet people because they cannot get into the clubs and organizations. Yes, there are things that kids can join - but it may have no interest to them, very few of the kids join (because they think no one else will join - vicious circle), and many disappear or don’t do anything. These clubs could also benefit from staff involvement. Many more robust. interesting, well-funded activities needed for kids who don’t drink, but are social, outgoing, and like to have fun. All dorms should have many ongoing activities - put RDs in all the buildings- even the small ones. Kids do not want to go to another dorm in their neighborhood to participate - it is awkward