By Melissa Domingo
Chaos. Standing in front of tables by the blacktop, club leaders are yelling, trying to promote their clubs and looking for eager students who want to join. Snacks and trinkets are handed out for students, on one condition: sign up for a club. Students haphazardly circulate during the lunch period, looking for clubs that pique their interest.
On Aug. 30, Summit Shasta held its annual club fair and students were able to pick from the multitude of clubs offered. This year, over 30 clubs were in the roster. The clubs are separated into five different categories: volunteering and community support, media and arts, learning and practicing new skills, gaming, and affinity organizations.
Serena Spada, senior and club leader of Shasta’s Ambassadors Club, said that she organizes their booth for the Club Fair, and she also works with the administration for Shadow Days and Recruitment Nights.
Club members host Shadow Days: “When there’s incoming eighth graders, who want to experience what half a day of what being in Shasta is like, we do that,” Spada explained. Ambassador Club also takes responsibility for Recruitment Nights and Open House. Spada said, “Usually a hundred plus parents and a hundred students come and they just listen to what information Ms. Maletsky and Ms. Petrash have to say about our school … at the end we spread out and ask the parents if they have any follow-up questions.”
After joining Ambassadors Club, Spada said that students should be able to “become a more engaging part in our community, or have a more involved role, so that they know what’s going on and know what it takes to have an active effort to get people to join our school. I want them to become welcoming people.”
She also said, “A lot of people who join the club don’t have good social skills, and so, through Shadow Days and through talking with parents, and like asking questions, they’re able to develop them, so I hope it’ll help them; it’s a skill that’ll help them in the future.”
Spada said she loves being a leader and getting to meet new people. “I think it’s a cool club; and there’s a lot of members; and if you wanna get to meet new people and build connections, and, like, become a more involved part of our community, everyone should join it!”
Spada is also the club leader for Film Club. In this club, members pick a genre they’re interested in and “watch a movie or a short film with that genre and analyze what parts we liked about it.”
Film Club is a straightforward club: “We create a plot, then a script, and then film, act in it and then edit it.” All of their work is uploaded onto the Shasta Film Club channel!
Spada said she hopes that students who join Film Club are able to experience possible future careers they could be interested in or are able to relax and enjoy a hobby that school normally doesn’t offer.
Spada said, “Filming is fun! It’s something they can do to relax, rather than having constant work.” Students “come and make films and have fun!”
Michael Mac Callum, senior and co-leader of D&D Club, describes the club as a place where they play the tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons: “Essentially, D&D is a game, where you make a character; everybody makes a character … Then the players then describe how they interact with the environment, like a game of sorts where you can do, really, anything you want; it’s all the making of the character, the rolling of the dice and your imagination, really.”
He said that D&D “made sense in the club formula, you know, it helps build community.”
Mac Callum really enjoys having the time to play, at least once a week, especially when there’s a specific time and location everyone can meet up in. Sometimes, it’s difficult trying to play with everyone due to the times and locations not working.
People who partake in this club enjoy the time that they’re able to wind down from a day of work, especially during Wednesdays when Shasta students attend all of their classes.
Chelsea Watts, senior mentor and AP Literature teacher, is also the adviser for GSA Club (Gender and Sexuality Club). Shasta’s GSA “is in line with GSA groups around the country in making sure we are promoting a safe space for all students, regardless of gender, sexuality presentation of identity. We also want to make sure that we are bringing awareness to issues in the LGBTQ community and just making sure Shasta is a place where students can be themselves.”
The students who have joined GSA have either seen or dealt with challenges that surround LGBTQ issues; they also find support in the club: “I think that the students we have in the club right now have all expressed that their values are in line with making a safe space for everyone,” Ms. Watts explained.
Ms. Watts’ big goals are to eliminate discriminatory language on campus and to bring awareness to LGBTQ issues to both students and faculty.
As a club adviser, Ms. Watts said she enjoys “giving students a space to discuss sensitive topics in a format where they feel safe.”
“I really enjoy seeing students take ownership of pieces of the club and, like I said, we’re in the beginning parts of that process, and seeing students take those leadership roles, I think is really important, as something that they can use beyond just this one club, right? Because those are skills you can apply anywhere.”
She also said that “a lot of students hear GSA and they think like, ‘Oh, that’s the gay club.’ Right? Only gay kids go to that, and I want kids to understand that that’s not at all the case; it’s very much a space for students who are within the LGBTQ community, but also allies, who, you know, are aiming to make Shasta a more welcoming place. So, that’s what I’m hoping, Shasta at large, would understand.”
Ms. Watts closed by saying, “It’s open to everyone.”
Featured image above: Club leaders take a group photo after the Club Fair. PHOTO CREDIT: Adelaide Giornelli
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