Remember the days of hurrying to club lunch meetings, squeezing into a room filled with people chatting away and eating lunch while a meeting takes place? Remember the chaos of Club Rush as students swarmed the Dome in hopes of being early enough to grab a smoothie or a burger from TK? Perhaps you’ve wondered what’s happened to these organizations on campus that brought people together over a common interest ever since the hybrid learning schedule took place.
Multiple clubs have found their way onto Instagram, operating from profiles dedicated to spreading the word about their clubs, next meetings, and any events pertaining to the basis of the organization. How are these clubs managing to keep everyone involved with COVID guidelines in place?
“Because of distanced learning, it is more difficult to keep people engaged during meetings, so we have had to plan events and games that we think people will enjoy. We want to make sure that people want to be at the meetings and that it doesn't feel like just another Zoom call on a school day,” says Hayward Bradford, member of the Lettuce Club.
The Lettuce Club, rather than serious meetings and skill-based activities, likes to have fun. Connecting through their love of lettuce, these students play games online together, such as Jackbox and Scribbl.io, as well as posting lettuce-related memes to their Instagram page, @cmhslettuceclub.
Similar to the Lettuce Club, the STEM Club has been implementing challenges and events for their members in order to keep students engaged.
“Since our club was created with the purpose for us to create and innovate STEM-related projects together, it has been really hard to maintain the same dynamic online,” Sophia Catania shares. “We have just started doing an activity called Innovation of the Month where our counselor, Ms. Cross, comes up with a challenge and we have a month to find a way to complete the challenge with supplies from home. We then share our projects together over Zoom.” The STEM Club hopes to resume utilizing tools from class instead of using supplies from their home, attempting to get grants online to finance project kits students are able to use at home.
Although their Instagram account has only a few posts, you can check them out and find out more at @cmhs_stem_club.
Asian Culture Club also hosts their meetings virtually over Zoom, with club officers finding creative ways to get everyone involved. “We try to organize group activities such as cookoffs and host meetings as regularly as we can”, says Lena Nguyen, ACC Vice President.
“A few months ago we hosted a ramen cookoff with Mrs. Nguyen-Kung, one of the Spanish teachers, as a guest judge. It was a really fun time being able to just meet and talk amongst one another while eating ramen.” For Lunar New Year this year, a predominant holiday in East/Southeast Asia, the club officers plan to fill red envelopes with candy and other goodies (sanitized and safely packaged of course!) for their members as a way to celebrate the holiday. They also designed merch so their members can rep their club in a cool and comfortable way.
Some clubs require in-person interaction, however. Mock Trial, with competitions that closely mimic actual courtroom trials, involves the communication and practice as a team in-person.
To execute this safely, optional “learning labs”, as allowed by CMHS, are held once to twice a week after school on campus with socially distanced students. Mrs. Soldin, the coach for Mock Trial, even goes so far as to have multiple classrooms open to maintain the safety of students to ensure they feel comfortable.
The competitions themselves are held on Zoom when competing against other schools, however the team meets in person to streamline communication between members. Donning suits, sports jackets, and dress shirts/blouses, they stand proudly in front of the webcam, defending their case against real life judges and lawyers like they would in the courtroom.
Much like lawyers and judges, some student’s aspirations reach high above - in politics. CMHS’s Politics Club was recently created by Eli Weiss-Hung, a junior at CMHS. Wanting to share his love and passion for politics, it was established during the COVID-19 pandemic to give interested students a place to voice their opinions on what’s happening in America.
Although they are unofficial in the eyes of the school, the group is gaining students through promoting tactics. “At first to promote the club we made a flyer [that] we sent around. People posted it on Instagram and shared it. Since then we have an Instagram page [@cmhs.pc],” Weiss-Hung says. Since the club is small compared to the already established clubs at CMHS, he is brainstorming ways to attain more members.
“..The club was just started and it’s not official yet. I am looking into having guest speakers who have done work in local politics, so if any of them are interested we’ll have them come on our Zoom to talk a bit and answer some questions.”
Key Club, although in-person activities are limited due to COVID, still host Zoom meetings whenever they can and depending on the event, they host them virtually, such as the monthly DCM (divisional council meetings), where a large gathering of members all meet in those tiny rectangular boxes to share stories, relay information, and more.
“All of our events are held on Zoom, some fundraisers like Club Rush weren't able to happen but we still have [had] some fundraisers with such as Somi Somi [a cafe] where the profit would go to the Pediatric Trauma program,” says a member of the Key Club. “It has affected the way we distribute and collect things such as shirts or dues and has stopped us from doing any in-person events whatsoever. However, it does have its pros and cons as being on Zoom we don't have to travel far distances to have group events and it is easier to speak on Zoom. It is unfortunate that we are limited to doing online or individual activities during [DMC] and it is harder to make new friends.” To help gain traction for their club during COVID, Key Club uses a variety of different ways to reach out.
“We have been reaching out to our members through phone numbers, the Band app, and social media. Key Club already heavily uses advertisements and fliers so it wasn't really an issue to push those out a bit more frequently than before.” Along with advertisements, you can find more promotion on their Instagram page, @cmhs_keyclub.
The next time you’re feeling bored and want to meet new people, join a club at CMHS! Even through Zoom calls, you can still form bonds, delve deeper into your interests (whether it be through sharing cultures or munching away at a head of lettuce), and have fun being surrounded by like-minded peers.