What and Hows: Post COVID-19 Club Concerns

A wider view of curious Franklin students exploring clubs during the Club Fair on Thursday, Sep. 24. All returning and starting clubs were given a chance to recruit new members through the club fair.  Photo by Ayanna Villanueva

Following the dreadful Zoom and Google Meet meetings over the previous year, school clubs are now more than excited to kick off their in-person meetings with a blast. School clubs have been part of student’s daily school activities and are opportunities for students to engage with fellow peers and the community. However, with all of the COVID-19 restrictions and precautions at school, how exactly will clubs work this school year? Among people’s burning questions are: What will happen to lunch clubs if people can’t meet indoors during lunch? And what will happen to after school clubs?

Franklin’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program site manager, Destiny Bucasas, stated, “I don’t know what exactly are the procedures right now for eating inside, but I’m working with the admin to figure out some of those procedures.” 

Returning and new clubs were required to fill out a club charter form that includes information such as club description, schedules, club officer information, advisor, social media handles and meeting locations. 

“Students are to ask teachers or Franklin staff to oversee their clubs,” asserts Bucasas when referring to club advisers. All of these are to be reviewed and approved by the school first in order to function as a club.

Club leaders were also instructed to choose one outdoor and inside location. Since students can only dine inside if it is raining or is too cold outside, all clubs that happen during lunch are now required to pick a location outside like the bleachers, Clinton Park or the front lawn. In addition, they must ask their advisers if they could use their classrooms if it rains. The same thing also applies to after school clubs. We should expect all club meetings to be outside or online until further notice.

Clubs must also observe COVID-19 safety protocols by staying six feet away from each other and limiting physical contact as much as possible. It is also prohibited to share food during lunch meetings. Furthermore, unlike in previous years when you could simply walk into a meeting and leave, clubs are required to record attendance. Attendance tracking will be used to keep track of who you are with, in case someone you got in contact with or someone you were in the same room with got infected or got exposed to COVID. This policy will make it much easier for the school and district to determine the exposed students and staff through contact tracing.

The Franklin Club Fair was held during tutorial on Sept. 23 and had an approximate participation of 30 different clubs. There are numerous clubs serving various purposes—volunteering, civic engagement, community engagement and simply having fun.

During the fair, every club had different strategies to attract new members. Some gave out snacks and candy, some showed off their arts and crafts, some performed and some made speeches. Through this fair, clubs were given an opportunity to recruit new members who are willing to participate in their activities and students were given a wide variety of clubs to choose from. 

Here are some of the clubs that might catch your interest:

Period Club

Period Club is led by co-presidents Bella Walker (11) and Scarlett Judson (11). The Period Club is a community of menstruators and non-menstruators who strive to end period poverty and stigma globally, starting with Franklin High School. 

“This year we intend on holding fundraisers, conducting period product drives, inviting speakers in to educate us on menstruation and its effects,” Walker stated. 

Another thing the club is doing is listening and learning from one another about each person’s own unique experiences with periods. The Period Club will be meeting at the library every tutorial.

If you’re interested in joining Period Club, the sign-up sheet is on their Instagram bio at @period.franklinhighschool.

Storm Squad

Storm Squad is another student led club that was specifically made to promote school spirit by advertising FHS activities and sports.

Abigail Crowe (11), Franklin’s student body Spirit Commissioner and head of Storm Squad says, “We go to games, we try to [liven up] cheers and we facilitate crowd energy.” The Storm Squad also posts Franklin athlete interviews on their account and facilitates spirit week. 

“I think it’s really important that we’re trying to bolster community [spirit] and connect individuals,” Crowe added. 

The club, who usually met inside during lunch before COVID-19, now plans to meet bi-weekly in the courtyard next to the cafeteria. To join, scan the QR codes around Franklin that says “Storm Squad” signup. 

FHS Earth Club

The Earth Club is a club that is working towards creating a more sustainable and equitable community within Franklin. The club is going to have activities such as the Franklin garden expansion, creating can collection bins around the school, volunteer opportunities, and earth week events. 

“Pre-Covid we held several virtual meetings over zoom, but it was definitely hard getting ourselves organized as well as students involved when everything was online. This year we really took the time to start planning and brainstorming ideas ahead of time to ensure this year to be more successful,” club leaders Clara Petke-Long (12) , Paulina Siri (12), Everett Cogswell (11) and Ella Pulscak (11) said.

The Earth Club plans to meet twice a month on Thursdays. The easiest way to join the Earth Club is to join their Remind by texting @franklinec to 81010.

With almost everyone struggling to stay engaged and staying connected to peers, clubs are always great opportunities to socialize, enjoy your passions, give back to the community and exercise your leadership skills. Not only that, joining clubs will also look great on college applications. Some clubs also offer a graduation cord to someone who completes their requirements, e.g. completing certain hours of volunteer work and attending 75 percent of club meetings. If these piqued your interest, check out this club list made by the SUN program. 

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