Co-curricular code is being reinforced

Emma Nelson, Reporter

Students may have noticed some administrative buzz around co-curriculars this year, such as the Google form sent out to homeroom in October, to be completed by all students. This Google form had students fill out all non-sport co-curriculars they were a part of, so that the school could figure out the demographics of students in certain clubs and activities. 

This activity attached to a similar, but less visible, movement, taking place in sports co-curriculars, and both are happening because of a rewrite of enforcement of the Co-Curricular Handbook. 

“[There were] no changes to the rules. The rules have been in place long before I was here,” said Principal Brian Borowski. “The key aspect is enforcement of the rules to ensure that all students are being treated equitably with the Co-Curricular Code. Athletes should not have a harsher punishment than other students who represent the school in their club/organization… it should be the same. So the important aspect is holding all students who are involved in Athletics/Clubs/Orgs to high standards.” 

The rules for those involved in co-curriculars have not changed for a long time. Some students report that, as a result, the code has lost some of its gravity. 

“I don’t think the co-curricular code is very effective because many students don’t care… Nobody cares to read the email sent out with the code,” said junior Sydney Grimm, who competes on the varsity girl’s golf team.

The change, therefore, is the more consistent enforcement of the co-curricular rules among all co-curriculars. This change, tagged with more emails than usual that demand more student participation, involves an awareness component.

It used to be that there would be different punishments for different types of athletics, and clubs or organizations. Now, the enforcement is consistent within the types of co-curriculars. 

As said by Borowski, “we have nearly 1,100 students involved in co-curriculars in some form or another.” Beginning this year, all 1,100 students will be held to the same standards regarding their participation. 

When asked why the rule enforcements were implemented, in the first place Borowski said, “They were implemented to eliminate possible inequities within the system where one group of students could face penalties for their grades, behaviour, actions, etc. while another group was not held to the same standard. Any student who represents Waunakee Community High School in sports/clubs/orgs (depending on which Category they fall (A, B, or C)) will be held to the same standard. Short answer, to create accountability as well as fairness.” 

This new consistency of enforcement of the rules is designed to create equality within the A, B, and C Categories of co-curriculars. 

As stated in the co-curricular handbook, there are four Sections for participants to follow. Section one is behavior, two is attendance, three is grades and four is WIAA expectations (Code of Conduct/external expectations/random drug testing). All of Category A is held to all four standards. This includes WIAA sports, and competitive co-curriculars such as Forensics, One Act, etc. All of Category B, which includes performance groups such as Jazz Band, Choir or Acapella, is held to the first three standards. Category C, which encompasses the rest of the organizations that are usually considered clubs (i.e. French Club, Art Club, National Honor Society and many others), will be held to the first two standards. 

Section one, behavior, applies to all categories and discusses sportsmanship, honesty and moral consideration. Section two, attendance, also applies to all categories and mainly discusses weather cancellations and excused absences if required by instructors. Section three, grades, applies to A and B and mandates a certain grade level — less than one F for every six classes for co-curricular eligibility. Finally, section four, WIAA expectations, applies to A alone and mainly covers physical physical exams.

In additional, all co-curricular participants are bound by the Co-Curricular code they signed before initially joining co-curricular life. This basic code encompasses being “a credit to yourself, your parents, your school and community,” “high standards of social behavior” and “a strong spirit of cooperation and sportsmanship” among other, similar items.