Update on clubs

What will SHS clubs look like moving forward?


Madeleine Suh

BREAKING NEWS. SHS administrators have just released updated information regarding the new way we will be doing clubs and activities in the era of COVID-19. Though cubs are strongly encouraged to meet virtually, face-to-face meetings have been approved with several extensive measures required. As always, “all clubs must follow the same social-distancing guidelines as classrooms if meeting face-to-face,” said Mr. Ashwin Coratiyll, student administrator. Photo taken before COVID-19.

   When I was a rising freshman, I attended a senior panel at the Sycamore Junior High School. There were seven nominated seniors sitting on the platform risers in the choir room, and my mother yanked the ends of my jacket down in efforts of removing any wrinkles. I was not sure why. It is not like these high schoolers were going to remember me anyway. 

   The biggest takeaway that I gathered from that musty choir room was the one statement that every single senior made with wide eyes and a borderline bored smile: get involved. 

   Sitting at my house with my computer yelling at me to plug it in, my Christmas candles burning in October, and my five-day-old dishes stacked haphazardly next to my desk, I can confirm that this year, I have let those seniors down. 

   Please, do not mistake this as a lack of involvement. Last year, I participated in my fair share of clubs and activities. 

   But, there is a pandemic. A global one, in fact. So I am here. At my desk, doing activities that rhyme with LikLok and Leeping instead of Lock Trial or Lebate. 

   So what is the deal with SHS clubs and activities as of now? Here is the lowdown. 

   All clubs are allowed to meet in person. 

   Yes, you may throw the confetti now. But please stay until the end for all the important information. 

   Mr. Ashwin Coratiyll sent out an email to staff earlier this week, still indicating that “if possible, it is requested that [clubs] continue to meet virtually.” However, there are some clubs that cannot do this, and in acknowledgment of this, the administration has decided to allow clubs to have a choice between virtual and in-person, much like the present school situation. 

   SHS administrators have set a deadline for this Friday, where all clubs will be notifying the school of their meeting type and schedule. This means no impromptu meetings on campus. If you decide to be in person, you have to stick to the schedule. 

   If you’re the Mock Trial team, yes, you can still go to Panera on the weekends. What you do off school property is up to you. 

   Much like in-person learning, all clubs meeting face-to-face must submit a seating chart and stick to it, for contact tracing purposes. There is a hard deadline for seating chart submissions (October 30th), after which NO CLUBS will be permitted to meet on campus. 

   At the end of every meeting, an attendance survey must be filled out to refer back to for obvious reasons. Club advisors are required to fill out and send in attendance just like they would with their second bell class. But, there will not be an angry administrator to remind you over the intercom if you forget, so please try and remember. 

   Along with a schedule and seating charts, in-person club meetings must be socially distant (three feet minimum, six feet as much as possible), and masks must be worn at all times. 

   So basically, do what you’ve always been doing. 

   You better have been doing this already. But I digress. 

   For clubs who are looking in to bring guest speakers or advisors from outside of campus, those “non-school personnel are permitted ONLY after 2:15 pm, following the conclusion and dismissal of the school day,” Coratiyll wrote. The no visitor policy during the day still stands. However, after-hours access is permitted

   Finally, any large club event or gathering of more than 25 people is still off-limits as per state and county safety guidelines. If there is a reason the club desperately needs this event to occur, they can talk to the administrators. Field trips of any kind are not permitted, but again, what you do off-campus is unregulated. The school will not be sponsoring any face-to-face travels, though. 

   The bottom line is that clubs have restarted. They will just be a little different this year. 

   But in all honesty, everything is a little different. And clubs are not about to be the only thing spared. 

   If you are a club president, leadership team member, or staff advisor, please keep a lookout for all of the official materials and surveys from administrators. Do not miss deadlines if you would like to have face-to-face meetings. 

   Ideally, stay virtual. It is the safest option for everyone. But if not, please follow guidelines and be mindful of the present situation.

   Lives of all of our students and the quality of my senior year rest on your shoulders.