Club Connection

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Art/Photo by West High School Alumni Mia Kobayashi.

Pictured are members of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) holding up a poster encouraging students to join during Club Rush last year. This year even with a virtual Club Rush, board members were able to connect with their members through posting and creating videos to promote their clubs.

Westley Kim, Staff Writer

Clubs are an important part of any student’s academic experience; they push students to explore their interests, build leadership skills, and provide opportunities to  gain connections with other people. 

  Club Rush is an important part of introducing potential members to different clubs. It lets students visit several club booths to get an understanding of what the club is like. 

  This real life connection was an impactful part of Club Rush, so how is the effectiveness of Club Rush changed when that in-person interaction is removed?

   Smaller and newer clubs have to start from scratch, which makes it harder for them to forge connections with their members. Samantha Jiao (10), co-president of West High’s new Sending Love Club, said that, “especially as a new club, it’s harder to get people to join, since I can’t talk to each potential member in real life and get them excited about joining the club.” For her, and many other clubs, it is easier to create a connection in person because emotions and subtler facial expressions can be blocked and filtered through the screen. She does say, however, that “It’s a little bit easier educating people about your club because you can make digital posters and post them on social media as opposed to talking to people in real life, which would take a lot more time.” This effectiveness of connection through the internet is facilitated by the students’ desires to connect with club members. 

Shreshta Kumar (12), treasurer for SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)  and president of ASA (Association of South Asians) club, voiced her struggles with advertising the clubs that she is a part of. She explained, “In the past, we would attract people with food and incentives like game prizes. With the current situation, all we could do was describe the events and activities our clubs partake in and hope that people will be interested.” The restricted access to these rewards likely decreased the willingness of the students to participate in and discover different and new options. Julienne Nebrida (12), captain of the Academic Decathlon team, explained  that some good aspects of this otherwise less-than-good situation is that “It’s easier to get in contact with people who are interested in joining; plus, ASB has been helping with promoting several clubs, Acadec included.” She does, however, want Club Rush to be in person next year because “It’s just an overall more fun experience being able to walk around and explore the clubs on campus.” 

   To help try to connect students to clubs, ASB’s new website, westhighasb.com, provided links to videos that clubs have put together to help promote themselves. There is also a link to a full club list which offers further information. 

   Club Rush allows many students a break from academics and to delve into one’s own interests. The real life experience of Club Rush is more desirable than the digital experience, especially for club leaders, but it’ll have to do for now.