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Clubs that aren’t in the spotlight

The+Chess+Club+from+left+to+right%3B+James+Kim+%2810%29%2C+Brandon+Macomber+%2810%29%2C+Zawer+Komok+%2811%29%2C+Nathan+Lee+%2811%29%2C+Brenden+Lee+%28+11%29%2C+Henry+Phan+%2811%29%2C+and+Ms.+Sheila+Fridley%3B+on+Wednesday%2C+September+21+at+a+Chess+Club+meeting+in+the+Serrano+Library.+%28Zachery+Srader%29
The Chess Club from left to right; James Kim (10), Brandon Macomber (10), Zawer Komok (11), Nathan Lee (11), Brenden Lee ( 11), Henry Phan (11), and Ms. Sheila Fridley; on Wednesday, September 21 at a Chess Club meeting in the Serrano Library. (Zachery Srader)

The Chess Club from left to right; James Kim (10), Brandon Macomber (10), Zawer Komok (11), Nathan Lee (11), Brenden Lee ( 11), Henry Phan (11), and Ms. Sheila Fridley; on Wednesday, September 21 at a Chess Club meeting in the Serrano Library. (Zachery Srader)

The Chess Club from left to right; James Kim (10), Brandon Macomber (10), Zawer Komok (11), Nathan Lee (11), Brenden Lee ( 11), Henry Phan (11), and Ms. Sheila Fridley; on Wednesday, September 21 at a Chess Club meeting in the Serrano Library. (Zachery Srader)

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 Here on the Serrano Campus, unfortunately some of the clubs get a lot of attention and some of the clubs get very little attention. It’s important to recognize these clubs with dignity and respect, and to move these clubs a little more into the Spotlight.

 Some of the clubs on campus that don’t get a lot of attention include the Book Club, the “Guitar Club,” and the Chess Club. Here’s what these clubs are and my take on what they have to offer.

 Book Club: The book club gets together every other Thursday to discuss a pre-selected book that members are expected to have read. The book club aims to increase appreciation of fine literature.  

 The overall goal of the Book Club is “to read as many books as possible” and “share [a] love of reading with your peers,” according to Book Club Co-Representor Alissa Crews (12).

 The book club is looking for ways to increase student comprehension of literature and through this work  is helping its members to consider differing perspectives on the same literary works.

 Another member of the Book club, Connor Ryan (9) stated that the club has “broadened my imagination” and “helped me be able to figure out how I think about things.”

 The Book Club is informally organized and is student lead, as Crews stated, “It’s really just equal” and that the club is an “equal, free zone.” She also went on to explain that the club doesn’t really have leaders, but it does have Co-Representors, her and Samantha Palma (9).

 The book club was originally thought of and put into motion by its current advisor, Sheila Fridley, to try to promote student learning and improve upon the member’s understanding of literature.

Ms. Fridley expressed that the reasons she decided to form a book book club and be its advisor is because “first and most important I want students to read” and  secondly for students to “realize genre.”

 The club seeks to promote its membership through recruitment and Mrs. Fridley said “ [I] don’t ever want to stop someone from joining the club because they can’t afford the books.” She then added that “the door is open every other thursday” and that students are always welcome as long as they have a strong love of books.

 This is the club’s first year, unfortunately as such, it only has three members thus far; Alissa Crews, Connor Ryan, and Palma Samantha. This lack of membership is likely due to the club’s infancy and lack of advertisement.

Nevertheless, the club members and advisor have a positive outlook and attitude, and are very optimistic when looking towards the future of the club.

 “Guitar Club”: Another club on campus that is often ignored is the “Guitar Club,” due to the fact that it doesn’t really exist. This “club” seeks to teach prospective guitar players by offering them casual lessons.

 The student handbook, available online for review on the school’s website, states “Guitar enthusiasts that like to get together and jam join together to form the Guitar Club. Advisor: Loren Schneider,” even though no such club exists.

 However, when prompted regarding this misrepresentation Loren Schneider stated that, he has “never been a mentor of any guitar club, somehow five, six, seven, eight, ten years ago my name got connected to a Guitar Club at Serrano.”

 Mr. Schneider currently gives lessons to students when they directly ask him for them during first lunch. He made clear however that students need to be very self-motivated and that they must seek him out for lessons.

 The guitar lessons are “very casual, not formal,” according to Mr. Schneider. As he doesn’t wish to formalize the lesson by any means, but welcomes any prospective guitar plays who wish to learn.

 Mr. Schneider learned how to play the guitar when he was very young and he stated that he “remembered learning some guitar from [his] mom.” He later also learned more about guitar and “got some chops, skills when I did it every single day for an outdoor science school.”

 Back when senior projects used to be a bigger deal here, Mr. Schneider taught some students how to play for their respective senior projects. He has also thought dozens of other students how to play the guitar, on a more casual basis.

 The lessons offer students a convenient way to learn the guitar, however aren’t to be taken in a formal manner as one might presume.

 Chess Club: The Chess Club meets every Wednesday in the library from 2:00 – 3:00 pm to enjoy friendly competition and comradeship. The Chess Club desires to promote interest in the game of Chess, while developing interpersonal relationships and and promoting the ideals of friendly competition.

Chess Club Members, from closet counter-clockwise; Nathan Lee (11), James Kim (10), Zawer Komok (11), and Brandon Macomber (10), are seen here challenging themselves with the riveting game of chess; on Wednesday, September 21 at a Chess Club meeting in the Serrano Library. (Zachery Srader)

 Unfortunately, the Chess Club doesn’t always receive all the attention that is deserves. This may be due to the fact that “not a lot of people are interested in Chess,” according to Chess Club member James Kim (10).

 The Chess Club is very casual, just like the other clubs mentioned prior and according to Zawer Komok (11), the Chess Club President, “it’s kind of a laid back club.”

 The club currently only has two cabinet positions, President and Vice-President. However, Vice-President Henry Phan (11) believes that “in general the Chess Club doesn’t really need a hierarchy.”

 In fact, of his position as President Komok stated that, “I’m just the guy who took up the club and I know enough about Chess to be able to teach people.”

 In general, the Chess Club seeks to promote an appreciation and understanding of the game of Chess. However, it also has a deeper application as it teaches strategy and pattern structures.

 Member Nathan Lee (11) believes that “it teaches us to plan forward in advance,” which can indirectly lead to student improvement in other fields, such as when trying to plan out the most effective way to get homework done.

 The club is currently relatively small, it currently has less than ten members, albeit this may be do to a lack of advertisement. The members and officers of the club are currently seeking out new members for the club and are currently working out an advertising strategy to draw attention to Chess Club.

 The advisor, again Ms. Fridley, believes that the club offers students time “to have fun and chill, relax, use some intellect and strategies.”

 Other Clubs: Upon investigation, it has also been revealed that the Future Educators of America (FEA) club no longer exists, although it used to over five years ago. Additionally, an investigation into the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) was to no avast and produced no results, leading to the conclusion that the club likely no longer exists.

 In conclusion, while the online student handbook may be useful for looking up an obscure rule here and there, it doesn’t offer accurate on-campus club information. I would strongly recommend that if you desire accurate information about clubs that are actually on-campus, that you look on the “Club Information” page under the “Students” tab on the school website instead.

Members, Brenden Lee (11) [left] and Jason Sassenberger (11) [right] are seen here at a Chess Club meeting playing a challenging game of Chess, on Wednesday, September 21 at a Chess Club meeting in the Serrano Library. (Zachery Srader)

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Clubs that aren’t in the spotlight