I’ve been considering the future of the Rutgers Badminton Club (RUBAD) on and off for a while now. Just in the last few minutes I’ve been doing some actual planning (as in, writing stuff down, sending messages/texts/emails/etc) with regards to the next semester/year.

I’d known that a good chunk of our club’s leadership would be graduating, but I didn’t realize just how big of an impact that would be until I looked at it on paper: of the 10 or so officers we had at the start of the year, counting Chris, 4 of us will be graduating, one will be unavailable due to study abroad (naturally it’d be the Treasurer, one of our most important officers), one is unavailable in general (that’d be Chris), and that leaves us…with 4 remaining officers, three of whom I just texted to check their status for next semester & year (the 4th I’ll ask in person.) Of those 4, one has been more or less unavailable this entire semester due to academic priorities; two rarely come to practice; and the last is enthusiastic about badminton and does some stuff. To sum it up, the people we have now, as they are now, are not yet enough to keep the club going the way I’d prefer. I should say, I haven’t yet seen the initiative, leadership and commitment that I think is needed to keep RU Badminton going.

Haha maybe I should describe the other board members who’ll be graduating/won’t be around, to illustrate part of the reason we haven’t been as productive this year. Of the 4 officers who’ll be graduating, two are very enthusiastic about badminton but not as enthusiastic about the club; one somewhat tries to help out but is erratic in terms of duties/behavior and requires some amount of hand-holding/overseeing; and the final one tries to do a lot for the club…on and off. The officer who’ll be studying abroad has been pretty good about her duties but might not have even participated in one practice this semester (usually for understandable reasons). And that about describes the officers of our club. We had a few club members who used to help out, but they’ve been inconspicuously absent this semester.

So, responses to the text messages I sent an hour or so ago have been slowly coming in. Actually, at this point, only one of the officers I’ve texted has responded (positively), but that doesn’t really mean anything since the others might be in class or otherwise legitimately occupied. The other response I’ve received has been from one of our more committed club members, who confirmed that she’s interested in an eboard position, which I’m definitely glad to hear. There’s potential there, I think.

I mentioned something about leadership in my last entry, and the subject rears its head in this post too. Hmm more than just rearing its head–leadership is the underlying topic of this whole post. I wondered–have been wondering–about my own leadership with regards to RU Badminton. I have no doubt that I could have done so much more for the club this year and probably last year, but what held me back was a strange lack of motivation that struck at certain times. There would be moments where I’d be in a flurry of motion doing things for the club, sitting down and focusing like I’d rarely do for class to work out one thing or another. Then there would also be those times when I’d be so reluctant to do something that needed to be done. This semester, I think I’ve been constrained just because I don’t have as much of an interest in the club, which is bad because I’m supposed to be the driving force behind the club. At least, that’s what I imagine to be part of my job description. If I don’t do my job, no one will, and more importantly, NOTHING will get done. A friend recently told me though, that that’s not the right mindset to have–the “if I don’t do it no one will” mindset, and I guess I agree with her. But the fact that I sometimes feel like that…I dunno. There have been times where I think I shouldn’t be in charge of the club, or in charge of anything, for that matter…which is kind of strange, because I think I like leading/managing things. The paradox comes in when sometimes I wish I could just take part in a well-organized activity and not need to worry about this or that–like for badminton, there’ve been times I wish I could just go to practices, learn, and not need to worry about the things behind the scenes. At the same time I’m participating in anything, though, I can’t help but notice the things that I believe could be done better–things that I would do if I had a say in things–and so the conflict for me is whether I want to be able to improve something (yet have to deal with the stupid things that come along with the territory), or to just sit back and participate, and have to keep seeing things be done at a level below where they could be.

In terms of trying to bring about change in the club…I realize that I don’t really know how to create an atmosphere of comradery, which I think is extremely important in getting people attracted to and commited to any organization. I think that the comradery within Verse|One has a large part to do with why I enjoy it so much–there’s the feeling of inclusion, of family. I wish I could bring that to the Badminton Club, but I think I’m just not sure how to start it. RUBAD is comprised of a variety of students from a variety of majors and backgrounds–one might say that RUBAD is a microcosm of the diversity of Rutgers as a whole–and that presents an interesting challenge when determining how to form a community out of our group. I’d venture to say that communities are formed on the basis of common needs or in this case, common interests. So we have badminton as a common interest, but part of what keeps this community from forming is the fact that not everyone would like have this sense of “community”–I’m pretty sure some RUBAD members don’t mind that they just come to play, leave, do their own thing. Well…it’s a work in progress, I guess.

Hmm. I’m not sure how it came about, but I have an eye for detail. That attention that I have to the small things is I think a large part of why I’m successful in a lot of the things I do, be it badminton or dance. This eye for detail is what notices the “could be betters” of a swing of a racquet, the “should be dones” of someone’s dance routine. The problem is that I don’t fully take advantage of this trait of mine. I imagine that in conjunction with other personality traits, this attention to detail could be a greater asset to me than it is now, buuuut it’s just the matter of…finding something to work towards; of finding finding that motivationt that I’ve been looking for since entering college.

By now, I’ve gotten responses from each of the 3 board members I’ve texted. Looks like they’re all still interested in continuing (one admits that he’ll still be busy but should be able to stay with us), which I find that I appreciate, since after all, they’re hardly bound to me/RUBAD by anything, so I assume that they have at least a bit more interest than your average RUBAD member. They could’ve just informed me that, regretfully, they won’t be continuing. Maybe it’s just because they haven’t had to do much…hahaha. I really shouldn’t make guesses as to what keeps our officers committed–if I’m really curious, I’ll just ask in person.

But, badminton. Rutgers Badminton. Will the club remain viable after the 4 seniors graduate? Haha…well, it’s my job to make sure that it does. It’s my job–or more importantly, my duty–to make sure that the club won’t be lacking in leadership (…relatively…) once I leave. Hence all these texts these last two hours, the planning, even this entry, which helps me wrap my mind around a few things.

I haven’t been the best leader, but if nothing else I’m going to try hard to make sure that RU Badminton won’t (temporarily) die out after I leave.

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