TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Club Selectivity Isn’t the Problem. Recruitment Culture Is.

Albeit being just a four-day extended weekend, fall break comes as salvation for many students on the Hill. This is perhaps because of the unique stresses of fall at Cornell. On top of the usual academic responsibilities, students spend much of their time attending information sessions, filing applications and interviewing for positions. But not for jobs. For clubs.

GUEST ROOM | The Problem With Selective Organizations

The first time I heard about how selections for exclusive organizations occurred in my freshman year, I laughed. The concept of organizations founded on the concept of selectivity was foreign to me. A close friend from high school described to me, with a straight and serious face, how slides are created with headshots and resumes, how groups of 30-40 peers judge “potential” and “professionalism” in a matter of minutes, how many hours go into this process of judging peers, how the number of applicants becomes a measure of pride, how low acceptance rates represent elite organizations and how hundreds of people subject themselves to this process every semester. She described how some of these organizations wore cloaks! What I was hearing was straight out of a Bravo TV show.