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My anime club wants to go to ACen... But the school isn't too keen on it. Sugestions?

#1 User is offline   Tiny Dangerous 

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:52 PM

So, here's our club's current pradiciment:

We went to ACen last year as a club (12 members went: 6 boys, 6 girls.) And had virtually no problems getting the trip approved by the school board. The trip went very well with virtually no problems (sans getting a little lost on the way to the con!) We had an excellent time, and all was well. Nobody got into any trouble or otherwise. We also footed the bill for everything as a club, and cost the school nothing. Though the school donated transportation.

Now this year we'd like to go again, but the school is saying no. It should be noted that we have a new associate principal. The school's reasons for not letting us go this year are as follows:

The school year ends on the 26th of May. ACen is on the 16th. Apparently, this is too close to the end of the year for a trip, and it would be easier for the teachers if we just stayed in class. We would be missing one and a half days of school, and (just like last year) it will be required for all students going to the convention to be passing all classes and have all work turned in. The school also doesn't want us to go because it's not a competition (we're not an athletics group). It wasn't a competition last year, yet we went.

In short, we'd like some advice as to how to show the school that just like last year, ACen would be an enriching experience for our club members.

Thanks bunches!

#2 User is offline   Agatha 

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:57 PM

It can really suck dealing with schools.

Does your group have a faculty advisor/leader? They should be able to be your advocate in a situation like this. If you have one, have they talked to the administration at all?

Is there any way you can take your experience last year, and use it to demonstrate why this was beneficial to your group? (e.g. do you have pictures of you guys taking part in a Japanese-cultural-themed panel or doing something else that's cultural, but not likely to freak out someone who doesn't know what's going on? You put those in a presentation or on a report, and have each person in your group also write a little about what they learned, and how it ties in to the rest of their education) If your club members all had good grades last year, you can also use that to point out that missing school had no negative impact on your education.

Depending on how your school works, and the makeup of your club (if a lot of you are in the same classes, for example) if you have a friendly relationship with your teachers you could try approaching your teachers about it. Explain to them what you want to do, and why (and just how educational and culturally enriching it is!) and the difficulties. They might be able to offer a suggestion, or you might have luck striking a deal with them - for example, offering to do the work in advance for the days you're going to miss. If the teachers say that they would be okay with this if it were approved, it's harder for the principal to say no. You might even get a teacher who's willing to go to bat for you and will help you try to convince the administration.

Do any of your group members have family members who are heavily involved in your school (school board members, faculty, dedicated volunteer, parent of 15 kids who are all in sports or something?) They might have enough influence to change opinions in your favor and/or they might be able to offer suggestions about what to do next. If you're really hardcore about this they might also be able to get mean on your behalf.

#3 User is offline   Skylerrelyks 

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

Why are you going through the school if the club is footing the bill? If you don't mind my asking. I am the president of my school's anime club and I am also taking my kids to ACen. The only reason I am going through our school is because we needed to use money in our account and they wouldn't let us just take it out. Otherwise, last year I just took a few kids without really asking the school since it was okay with kids' parents.

For convincing the school, I didn't have to do much. It was more challenging to convince parents this year. If it helps, I basically just told parents that it's a way for us to learn about another culture. I also told them that since anime and the like isn't popular where we live, it's nice to be around people and not be ashamed about our hobbies and our likes and to feel accepted and comfortable. That might help them see things your way.

Sorry if I'm unable to help!

This post has been edited by Skylerrelyks: 16 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

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#4 User is offline   imperfecktion 

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:24 AM

In high school, our pilgrimmage to ACen was never school sanctioned. We typically left right after school let out and went to ACen, or a few of us skipped school altogether and went early. College is pretty much the same deal - making it a school-sanctioned event is not likely. I would definitely point out the Japanese/American cultural aspects of the convention. If you can even find panels that might look informative and nice to the school, you could point that out too. Honestly, I don't really know how to convince a school to be on board with the trip. I think it's a miracle that your school was on board with it the previous year. I would just gather your group and go on ahead with it. But I can't tell you to skip school, especially when it's so close to the end of the year - no good can come of that. Either leave as soon as school lets out or don't go on Friday. If you try to skip now, I can't advise it, and your school might be wise to the reason why you're gone.

I agree that if you can get faculty to support on you this, you might have a better shot, but for both high school and college, our faculty advisers were typically MIA and probably wouldn't pull that many strings for us.
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#5 User is offline   LhadyChloe 

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:28 AM

I would think that you and your friends already saved up for the ACen? Why dont you just go yourself, maybe with an adult to keep you company (if your under 18). Or is the problem the ride to the event? Are you far from the convention?
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#6 User is offline   Wafflashizzles 

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:35 PM

You could organize it yourselves over the weekend. You won't miss that much if you head over Friday afternoon and attend Saturday/Sunday. Other then that, you could try and beg around to get a few teachers behind you, then re-approach the school board.

That's my two cents.

#7 User is offline   AkaRisu 

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:07 PM

I agree with everything said above (mostly- I can't advise you to skip school, even though I'd consider it). Getting faculty members on your side will help. It's too late for it this year, but you can find out if students can get any kind of extra credit for creating a presentation to run as a panel (it's good public speaking experience). And the earlier you can let the school know next year that you're going, the better (more time to get the right people on your side, too). Good luck!

#8 User is offline   Kaay-chan 

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:30 AM

Tell them that this is a cultural event during which thousands of people congregate to share in their appreciation of anime as an art form. Fellow enthusiasts host panels tailored to different aspects of the fan-culture and many of them are very educational. Additionally, the convention has guests that are involved in the industry which provides a unique chance to meet them and hear what they have to say on the matter.

You might want to look into what other cultural clubs at your school have been allowed to do this year; does the art club take trips to museums? Does your school have a musical club/ band/ something like that that goes to concerts? Explain to them that, although it might not seem like it at first, what with the costumes and whatnot, an anime convention like ACen isn't much different. If your school has any kinds of other clubs whose members might be interested in going to the convention (I don't know if you guys have any kind of gaming club or if any of the art club members might be interested...), contact whoever is in charge of them and see if they're interested in trying to make it some kind of joint event, in the hopes that multiple groups having an interest in this might impress the powers that be.

Unfortunately, when it comes to high schools I'm a bit lost for what else I can recommend; most people at my high school just went Friday after school and we didn't go as a group, and most college professors (at my school, anyway) allow a certain number of unexcused absences, so if I'm going to miss class for ACen I just capitalize on that. ._. Any advice I give is me making educated guesses and combining that with my experience as the ACen group organizer at my college for two years (we paid for our badges and dealt with transportation ourselves; club budget for that term went towards paying for our hotel rooms. Occasionally we'd have to humble ourselves before student senate and ask for more money for that).

I wish you luck!
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