School Politics & Sensitivities

School Politics & Sensitivities

I’ve taken a role at my college’s Computer Science club. I ran for the “Project Manager” position with the hopes that I can use my experience to help some of these kids grasp OSS & collaboration a little more firmly. There are many gems in this club and it excites me to see what we’re going to do this year, but the politics behind the leadership is unbearably annoying. Don’t get me wrong, dealing with people or co-workers is easy compared to some of the things that are going on in this club, and this is still the first week. I cannot dive into all of it so here’s a funny bit.

Among the 5/6 roles, only two of them have any say in decision-making. If you’re not the President or Vice President of the club then you are disposable, the success of last semester’s duo leadership proves this. If you do speak up and present an original idea, others will just end up reciting the same thing said. Not only this, recent drama in one of our club-wide group chats caused a hilarious event to occur. Last week, Elon Musk “smoked” a spliff on a podcast and as you can expect, the internet responded with memes. These memes, which were appropriate for the eyes of any college student, was posted to this chat. Nothing happened, everyone was okay with it, until one member of the leadership decided to take it down due to it not being “school appropriate”. Chaos.

Essentially this sparked huge fight against moderation and in favor of freedom of speech, which I can support. Being in leadership I hold an expectation to back up the decisions of others in leadership, but honestly I am unsure if I can lie in that way. If someone executed a poor solution to a problem, that solution’s replacement should arrive as fast as possible. Backing up bad decisions only kicks the can down the road, leaving the potential for hypocrisy in later decisions. In our first leadership meeting we spent 80% of our time talking about this issue. It was literally a circle of college kids reciting the same agenda back and forth to each other, which was comical to watch.

Professionalism is a word that received heavy abuse during that meeting. The issue with that is the fact that while learning professionalism is critical to someone’s success in industry, you have to realize that professionalism is not what will bring members into a club. I’m not sure about you, but if it’s not fun then what exactly is the point? Not only was the meme insignificant, it blew up to the horrifying reality that I am here, aggravated at the fact that we legitimately wasted an entire meeting to a meme that didn’t matter and a decision that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. I’m curious if future meetings will be as useless, while also extremely nervous at the outcome of this semester. I have learned that from now on I will follow a new rule: If your sentence to me doesn’t include “GitHub” or “project”, then I am not going to give you my opinion.

Count me out.

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