Knightlife intensifies membership requirements


Dr. Steffenson has his work cut out for him, considering each application carefully, trying to chose the best candidates to make up next year’s Knightlife club.

Katie Sisk, staff writer

Snow football, movie nights, and colorful t-shirts have all been staples of Knightlife, Benilde-St. Margaret’s club that promotes a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle, but this large group will soon see many changes. While still emphasizing a drug-free lifestyle and sponsoring drug-free activities, the group will accept fewer members and adjust its organization for the 2011-2012 school year to help the group better achieve its goal of promoting healthy, chemical-free lifestyles.

Starting next year, Knightlife will not simply accept every student who signs a drug-free contract. “We settled on it being a smaller group with a more thorough application process instead of just signing up…it’s going to be a pretty drastic change because it’s needed,” said junior Sarah Silvestri, Knightlife leader.

The large number of students taking advantage of the easy admission process caused the necessity for this change. “My goal was to try to reach out to everybody…the only thing is that I have too many people, and I can’t control it,” said Dr. Jeff Steffenson, Knightlife adviser.

Dr. Steffenson hopes the changes will create a tight-knit group working toward the goal of encouraging healthy living. “I want us to be a group that can be a team that really focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles in general,” said Dr. Steffenson.

Because only 30-35 students will be admitted, students must apply for membership, be interviewed, and be chosen by the counselors to participate and get credit. “We’ve got a Knightlife application that kids fill out and then they get teacher recommendations for me,” said Dr. Steffenson.

Many hope the this thorough application process and the exclusiveness of Knightlife will make students take the group more seriously. “It will make it more of a commitment for students who are in it, and it will also make it more of an honor to be in the program,” said junior Jordan Dritz, Knightlife leader.

A student’s passion for living and promoting a healthy lifestyle will play a substantial role in the counselors’ decisions. “I want people that are pumped about trying to do the right thing and being role models for people to do the right thing. For this particular group, that’s the point,” said Dr. Steffenson.

Accepted members will be responsible for a month of health awareness in addition to current Knightlife duties. “So really it’s going to be focus for one month, do activities throughout the year, go to meetings throughout the year, sign a contract, and promote chemical free lifestyles,” said Dr. Steffenson.

The emphasis will be on the monthly health topics each group will focus on. “They will work closely with each other in groups in order to strengthen the fact that living a chemical free lifestyle is something everyone should try to follow,” said senior Sarah Kopp, Knightlife leader.

Despite the changes, Knightlife will still sponsor several chemical-free activities enjoyed by many students in previous years. “I’m always looking for things for kids to do, like this year we did snow football, and people could do a few things like that still because it’s fun,” said Dr. Steffenson.