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How Clubs Provide Diversity
September 2, 2021
High school isn’t all about stressful long classes, tests, and homework, it’s also about getting involved socially and having fun. Clubs and activities are a great way to not only have fun but meet new people and participate in something you’re interested in.
“You have the opportunity to do whatever you want,” senior Lindsey McClain said. “It doesn’t have to do with the curriculum or anything like that.”
The school has a large variety of clubs to choose from. There is the Gay-Straight Alliance, drama club, academic teams, esports, and many more. All of these clubs are listed under the Clubs and Activity section on the RCS website. The Dungeons and Dragons club has been around for three years.
“We run campaigns and we help students figure out how to do the dungeon mastering,” English teacher Tia McCargish said. “We help kids navigate tabletops role-playing game entail and we show them how to play. You can join if you’ve never heard of D&D in your life because we walk you through the whole process. World history teacher Leigh Ernst helps with the D&D club and we run three different campaigns, which is how many people are playing together. We started with really short campaigns so everyone is knowledgeable about them.”
Students like McClain also create new clubs to create more diversity at the high school. She created the new upcoming fashion club.
“It’s an idea I’ve had for a few years definitely,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to go into fashion merchandising. I knew a lot of the people that are going into my major had fashion clubs at their high schools or talked about starting their [own] fashion clubs. I just thought it would be a really good idea since we don’t have one and we really don’t have a lot of opportunities like that around here.”
Teacher sponsors also get inspired from students to start clubs.
“My first year teaching, a student said she used to do D&D at the Boys and Girls Club but the person who ran it moved to a new location and she was really sad because she didn’t know anyone else who was interested in D&D,” McCargish said. “I said that I could run it if we could find some people who are interested. We put it on the announcements and we found six or seven people that joined. It’s been here every year that I’ve taught. The club is huge this year. There are over 20 kids, which is the biggest its ever been.”
The process of creating a club is rarely talked about.
“I emailed Principal Rae Woolpy and got more information about how to start [the club],” McClain said. “I had to pick up the club forms in the main office and I had to find a sponsor.”
Each club is different and does different activities.
“[The fashion club is] mostly hands-on activities,” McClain said. “A lot of like little craft fashion-related projects. The first project we’re going to do was magazine collages that show your own personal style, like drawings, magazine clippings together, anything like that. Any little activities like jewelry making, painting tote bags, hand-sewing, and stuff like that. We’ll be brainstorming with all of the members and everyone has a say so we can all do something we enjoy.”
Clubs can help students enjoy their high school experience.
“When I was in high school there weren’t a lot of fun things for me to do so I didn’t really buy into high school,” McCargish said. “I don’t know how many times I’ve heard students say to me that they didn’t really want to come [to school] but they did when they heard it’s club day. It gives them a reason to look forward to school. I’ve had students come to this club that have never been in my class before. They’ll come to me when they have questions about school also. It introduces them to more adults that they can feel safe and comfortable with.”
Diversity is important to have in school, even in clubs.
“[The fashion club is] something that’s different that we don’t have,” McClain said. “I know a lot of people that are interested in fashion and I don’t think they fully get to express it and participate in a group that’s about fashion since we’re in such a small town and that’s not really a big thing in Richmond. It’s a growing thing among high schoolers and it’s becoming more popular.”
Every student has their own unique interests.
[D&D] is a really inclusive environment,” McCargish said. “A lot of people worry about fitting in and I will say I make it very clear that there is absolutely no harassment or anything like that in D&D. You have to learn how to be kind to others and that’s the first thing you learn in D&D.”
The fashion club has some important dates coming up.
“The first meeting is September 2 right after school from 3:35 to 4:30,” McClain said. “The first meeting is really going to be meeting everyone and brainstorming projects that people want to do. I have a whole list of projects that we can choose from. I think it would be good at the first meeting so everyone can share.”
D&D also has important information to remember.
“Right now we’re meeting Thursdays,” McCargish said. “Come to R-312 for more information.”
McClain shares some personal insight about her club.
“I just want to say speaking from experience I know when I was younger this [fashion club] would’ve been something I really wanted to do but I would’ve been too nervous to do it because I would feel like I don’t have the art skills for that or I’m not creative enough,” she said. “I just want to say that this club is meant for everyone. You don’t have to have crazy art skills to do it. You don’t have to be intimidated. It’s just a bunch of people with the same passion coming together to do this.”
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