Club Founders Find Unique Ways to Operate During Distance Learning

The+Boys+to+Men+club+poses+for+a+photo+after+their+first+official+Zoom+meeting+on+Sept.+30.+The+group+discussed+issues+relating+to+toxic+masculinity+and+its+harmful+effect+in+society.+%E2%80%9CWe+really+got+to+know+each+other+while+setting+it+up+and+through+meetings+so+we+feel+comfortable+talking+to+each+other%2C%E2%80%9D+club+officer+Alexa+Riley+said.+

Photo Taken From the Boys 2 Men Instagram

The Boys to Men club poses for a photo after their first official Zoom meeting on Sept. 30. The group discussed issues relating to toxic masculinity and its harmful effect in society. “We really got to know each other while setting it up and through meetings so we feel comfortable talking to each other,” club officer Alexa Riley said.

Becca Petty, Staff Reporter

School closures and social distancing guidelines have forced SCHS clubs to get creative in the way they operate this school year. In the midst of remote learning, club founders have discovered ways to not only function this fall but also to thrive and serve their purpose to the community in a unique way. 

Each club’s approach to meetings is individualized, giving founders the ability to choose how they would like to conduct activities this school year. In addition to having access to online platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, campus also re-opened on Oct. 12 for students to hold meetings with small groups while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Whether hosting in-person events, functioning fully online or reaching out to the community, SCHS student leaders are working to achieve the purpose of their organizations and to give students opportunities to connect with each other during online learning. 

Seniors Chloe Blankenhorn and Morgan Mayorga acted quickly to set their club apart from the others, by holding one of the first in-person meetings. Their club, Health is Wealth, was created with the purpose of bringing together students interested in nutrition and wellness. At their first event, the club members made vegan/gluten-free pumpkin spice mug cakes and covered wellness topics, including how to have a balanced plate.

Health is Wealth Club hosts their first fall-themed meeting on Sept. 26. The group made gluten-free, vegan pumpkin spice mug cakes and talked about the benefits of nutrition. “What made it so special was that I got to see friends that I haven’t seen since March!” club member Ella Clark said.

“People were really respectful of each other,” Mayorga said, “some of the people that come to the club probably aren’t in your friend group… it’s nice to have small events that bring people together who have a common interest.” 

Currently, Health is Wealth has over 45 interested members on Instagram (in-person events have limited sign-ups) and has received positive feedback from students who attended their event. Students were able to make new friends, become a part of a “little family” and learn more about how to care for themselves during quarantine.

In the future, Blankenhorn hopes to make use of the open campus opportunities so that the club can have access to the kitchens. The founders have plans for holiday-themed events about once a month and encourage students to reach out through Instagram or Remind them to get involved. 

Though Health is Wealth has had success with its recent in-person event, other clubs have thrived with the use of online platforms. The Boys to Men club was founded this year by junior Zachary Ramos as a way to start discussions about the harmful effects of toxic masculinity for both men and women. The club held its first meeting via Google Meet on Sept. 30 and is open to both male and female participants.

“Right now, [our club] is really structured around quarantine and our main struggle going back will be adapting to in-person meetings,” Ramos said, “we just want to get to know our different members right now and lay down the structure of what the club is supposed to be about.”

With thought-provoking discussions, male and female students have the opportunity to connect with others and advocate for gender issues that affect society. At their first meeting, the group talked about the concept of the “man-box” where men feel confined to hide emotions and interests in order to fit set standards. 

“Everybody’s had something to say. It wasn’t just me giving a presentation about an issue, it was me and the other members having a discussion about these issues and creating conversations,” Ramos said. 

Future plans for Boys to Men include in-person meetings and hopefully collaborating with the FIDM Fashion club to host a fashion show for students. 

For some clubs, fully online meetings aren’t possible. Community outreach is a vital part of the mission of the Happy

Happy Period club officers meet on Zoom to plan future events for the club. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, only club officers are able to participate in the distribution events. (Photo Courtesy of Mia Haskins. )

Period club, founded by junior Mia Haskins this year to fundraise for and distribute menstruation products to the homeless in Carlsbad and San Diego. To work around COVID-19 guidelines, the club has hosted no-contact drop-off events where members and citizens can donate products for the club officers to package into kits and distribute.

Like many others, Happy Period faced challenges with its first Zoom meeting.

“The Zoom was not very good. We got some feedback that a lot of the audio was glitchy and inaudible,” Haskins said, a problem that could also have been due to the large turnout (over 30 students) on the call. 

Despite connection issues, Haskins and her club officers are prepared to make the best out of online communication. The club recently started a Google Classroom and Instagram to reach out to members about events, as well as to raise awareness for the cause. 

“It’s such a necessity especially now with the pandemic where [people who are homeless] are getting even less help than they need,” Haskins said, “I hope that our club can lessen the stigma around menstruation [and] create a happy community that just wants to help out. I think we can achieve that even through Zoom and online learning.”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, club founders have risen to care for the needs of the student body and work together to offer students much-needed connection and friendship during school closures. By finding creative ways to provide the community with hope during hard times, SCHS club founders have become strong student leaders that will have an incredible impact on the success of distance-learning this school year.