The SHS Virtual Club Fair Hopes to Spark Student Involvement

The Virtual Club Fair at SHS is aiming to spread awareness of after-school activities.

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The Virtual Club Fair at SHS is aiming to spread awareness of after-school activities.

  There is no question that online learning is… an adjustment. In addition to the academic stressors students face, their involvement in clubs and other extracurriculars dimmed throughout the course of the school year as a result of lacking motivation and initiative. 

  Sophomore and Co-President of the Creative Writing Club, Jatavia Izi elucidates, “We spend so much time staring at a computer all day, joining a club would feel like adding more to the schedule.”

  Are these the only reasons? No. Several individuals agree that there is simply a lack of awareness about these opportunities. 

  Incoming freshmen never received a proper introduction into the high school environment. Many of whom simply don’t know what is available to participate in. 

  Freshman, Benjamin Cashwell states, “The only reason that I knew about clubs was because my brother was a student at Sanderson.” Cashwell continues, “I doubt that many students even know that we have a complete list of all our clubs on the Sanderson website.”

  The Virtual Club Fair aims to give all students—not just freshmen—the opportunity to learn about the different things they can be a part of. There are a profuse amount of options for people to choose from, something to match everyone’s interests. 

  In a “normal” school setting, a club fair would be held at the beginning of the year for Spartans. Due to the disruption of in-person activities, our faculty and student leaders have had to adapt.

  Student Council Advisor, Jordan Miller says, “Last year, we got great feedback from an in-person club fair, so we wanted to try to recreate a similar virtual option.” 

  Miller also described the shift in strategy for outreach and connectivity with students. She mentions, “We know we reach a lot of students through social media, and students also report that they hear about a lot of school events from their teachers, so we will continue to push information out those ways.”

  While these forms of communication were used previously, there is more of a reliance on them now that everyone isn’t in the classroom each day. 

  English teacher Dr. James Rutherford shares his thoughts on the management of clubs on an online platform and the challenges it presents. He states, “Being forced to communicate electronically may also result in club organizers better approaching the ‘digital side’ of club advertising and organization after the pandemic ends as well.

  While this event is taking place as everyone is finally adjusting to their second semester schedules, it is still a chance for clubs to reboot and revitalize with new faces and fresh inspiration. 

  Many students only join extracurricular groups to boost their applications and resumes. While it is important to be involved for those reasons, sometimes people overlook the short term benefits of being interconnected in one’s community. 

  The President of GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and of ASL (American Sign Language) Club, Dylan Hemedinger, expresses the significance of partaking in clubs. He expounds, “It improves mental health [and] provides an opportunity to make new friends.”

  One thing this pandemic has proved to all individuals is the need for human contact and engagement in social activities. Young adults during this period of their life are maturing and are advancing in the basic skills they will use for the rest of their life. 

  World Language Teacher, Sherrie Dixon affirms, “Establishing communities and becoming involved in them is key for having a sense of belonging. It’s also a chance for your voice to be heard.”

  A multitude of imaginative groups have been created during online learning. A handful of which have a slot at the event, including the Animal Protection and Treatment Awareness Club, the Creative Writing Club, and Philosophy and Current Events Club. 

  Dixon, who is also the Teacher Advisor for APTA asserts, “[O]ur growth is slow but steady… We are continuing to work on outreach to attract more members.” 

  Events like this one are pertinent to the evolution and success of these newfangled collectives who aspire to gain more bright youth to refresh their groups. This joint effort, as well as the connectivity and anticipation it hopes to inspire, is memorable.  

For more information about these clubs, check-out the school website.