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How to build a club

Clubs on the Oak Park Campus

Graphic design by Jacob Wagman - Social media & brand manager

Graphic design by Jacob Wagman - Social media & brand manager

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At this school, almost anybody can find their space.

76 clubs existed on the Oak Park High School campus in the 2017-18 school year. Every year a few more are added to the list: Creative Writing Club to K-Pop Club to Speech and Debate to Jew Crew. But how does one create that space and make commitment happen?

When students are interested in starting a club of their own, they might be unsure of how to go about making their club impactful.

Club week, for one, is a foreign experience for people recently introduced to the club building process. It’s a chance to showcase one’s organizational skills to the school, and one of the few opportunities available to attract new members.

As she made the board for her club, Stand Up to Cancer, junior Kaitlyn Lee explained that the experience is nothing to be afraid of.

“The energy levels at club week are always so high. It’s hard not to be excited about it,” Lee said.

Students may also wonder what activities they could incorporate into their club to make it both engaging and appealing to other students. Students might hold debates and host professional speakers to boost their club’s visibility.

Senior Russell Myers, the president of the Armed Forces Club, listed all the events he has held with his club.

“We host visits from recruiters, host speakers who talk about their experiences, who talk about opportunities in the military. We also organize collection drives called Operation Gratitude, and then we discuss different current events that pertain to the military,” Myers said.

Other Oak Park High School students starting a club must decide what their club is and what is driving them to create such an organization. Some students may decide to choose a broader club topic in order to appeal to the masses, rather than just a limited selection of students.

Senior Claire Epstein’s club SPAE (Students for the Protection of Animals in the Environment) said she related the formation of her club to becoming a vegan in seventh grade. She eventually won over potential members by emphasizing that “SPAE is not only a ‘vegan club,’ it’s regarding animal rights and environmental issues.”

Sometimes there’s the struggle of rebooting a preexisting club, which Girl Up co-president, senior Kimia Ranjbar, attested to. She explained that Girl Up existed during her freshman year but ceased to exist on the campus after the past leadership left for college.

“The club was re-started because it’s a great organization,” Ranjbar said. “They raise awareness on what’s going on in developing countries and how girls are being treated unfairly in terms of education, health and leadership.”

Future Business Leaders of America originates from a national organization. According to the current co-president, senior Grace Ma, the club boasted an total of 103 members in the 2017-18 school year.

“FBLA is just a fun place to meet new people and hang out with friends while learning new things,” Ma said. “It offers a wide range of opportunities across fields, and the members are awarded for their hard work and achievements.”

Clubs come in all sizes, from large, national clubs like Future Business Leaders of America, to smaller clubs serving Oak Park students such as the Muslim Student Association. Junior Hadia Hamza, understanding that Oak Park has few Muslim students, said she created the Muslim Student Association with a goal to “address stigmas.”

“Even if only a few people came, it would still mean even a small difference was being made and I think that’s important,” Hamza said.

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About the Writer
Aashika Srinivas, Advertisement Manager

Aashika Srinivas is a junior at Oak Park High School. She is currently the 2018-19 Advertisement Manager.

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