By Zoe Stafford, Staff Writer
// While many students migrate to their grade’s quad to find their friends during lunch, others choose to meet in classrooms to learn new subjects, participate in activities, and discuss important causes. From philosophy to volleyball, students can join clubs that explore a wide array of different topics.
As many new clubs made their debut at Club Day on Sept. 2, several established clubs and unions returned for the 2022-2023 school year in search of new members. Blueprint contacted some of these clubs’ Presidents in order to learn more about their missions and goals both inside and outside of school.
Queer Student Alliance (QSA)
“The purpose of the Queer Student Alliance (QSA) is to educate people on topics pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community, encourage tolerance, acceptance, equality, and awareness, and create a safe place for everyone to fully be themselves without judgement. We are also trying to create a school environment as a whole to be a safe space, not just a single classroom once a week.”
QSA’s main goal is to promote LGBTQ+ equality at Acalanes and to educate the community on necessary topics. QSA collaborates with teachers to create a program for workshops to teach fellow students about identity, labels, and the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are really invested in teaching the school because there’s a stark divide between the queer community and the non-queer community at Acalanes,” QSA Co-President and sophmore Ash Lee said.
Along with their efforts in educating fellow students, the club also recognizes its presence as a positive space for all students who are interested in LGBTQ+ matters.
“I think that most of the [members] just show up because they’re friends with the people in the club. They like being there. It’s like a safe space. It’s just a nice place to hang out on like Mondays,” Lee said. “I think that [clubs] are really important because they create a sense of community … they just give [students] an outlet to find a common interest with people that [they] wouldn’t know about otherwise.”
QSA meets every Monday at lunch in room 303.
“Latinos Unidos is a safe environment for Latine students/teachers, and our allies to hang out, talk, and hold events.”
Latinos Unidos has long since created a community for Latine members at Acalanes to gather and find acceptance even through COVID-19 restrictions.
“I think it’s really great to have a space on campus where [students] feel comfortable and where [they] can fit in. [When I joined Latinos Unidos], I also was coming from a different middle school than the majority of students, so was entering a new school during a Zoom year. A club served as a great way to meet other people I could relate to,” Latinos Unidos Club President and junior Zoya Acuna said.
Along with its typical meetings, Latinos Unidos also plans to host special events and activities throughout the school year.
“We mainly just hang out, talk, eat food, and play games. This year, we are also trying to do some fundraisers and field trips,” Acuna said. “We will mainly see [what events we might host] as the year goes on, but Latine Heritage Month is coming up, and we will be helping out with some of those events.”
Latinos Unidos meets every other Wednesday at lunch in room 507.
“The Feminism Club is for anyone who believes in equality for all genders, and is interested in learning about feminism. You must be open minded, respectful, and courteous to others in the space.”
The Feminism Club aims to create a place for feminists at Acalanes to discuss relevant issues both on and off campus. They plan events and hold regular meetings to foster a dialogue about feminism and discrimination.
“We wanted to come together to have a safe space for women-identifying students or non-binary [students], anyone who’s not a man to come in, and basically just rant if they wanted to … [We] try and see if we can find things that we can help with them on campus,” Feminism Club Co-President and senior Sofie Foster said.
The club prioritizes the inclusion of all feminists and the fight for equality in order to create the most positive environment possible.
“We’ve really tried to make feminism … about less than just women and more about anyone who wants to really participate in it and talk about it,” Foster said.
Feminism Club meets every Wednesday at lunch in room 209.
“The Robotics Club will provide a space for motivated students to explore various facets of robotics, including software development, hardware design, part fabrication, and mechanical knowledge through a variety of potential competitions. The First Robotics Competition (FRC) in October and March marks the most formidable teamwork and engineering challenge of the club.”
The Robotics Club focuses on both the technical and competitive aspects of robotics, as well as the greater benefits of learning robotics.
“[The Robotics Club is] a really great opportunity to expand [students’] knowledge of STEM and engineering, especially. It also just teaches basic life skills. It teaches [members] how to use basic tools and basic coding, and also teamwork,” Robotics Club President and senior Astrid Olsson said.
Since Acalanes does not offer robotics as part of its curriculum, the club’s President finds it particularly crucial that students have the option to join extracurricular clubs.
“I think [having clubs] is really important because it gives students more opportunities to find things that interest them and then really engage with the campus and their peers,” Olsson said.
Robotics Club meets every Wednesday and Friday at Academy in room 316.
“The purpose of the STEMinist club is to promote diversity in the STEM field, a male dominant field. This club will create a safe space for non-men and underrepresented groups going into the STEM field.”
STEMinist Club President and senior Drew Ebner founded the club with the mission to empower underrepresented genders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As someone who is passionate about biology herself, she wanted all students to have a place to express their interests in STEM.
“The club’s goal is to create a safe space at Acalanes for anyone who’s going into the STEM fields … like an underrepresented person in the STEM fields, like [a] woman, non-man, non-binary [person], [or] gender non-conforming [person],” Ebner said. “I decided to start a club just kind of surrounding that idea of female empowerment and like non-men empowerment in the STEM fields specifically.”
STEMinist Club meets every Monday at lunch in room 105.
Acalanes hosted its first Club Day of the 2022-2023 school year on Friday during Academy. Check out the recap below!
Photos by Hank Bauer, Staff Writer