SHS clubs find creative ways to operate during a pandemic

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Photo by Mehrin Hossain Viewing Key Club website

Mehrin Hossain, Staff Writer

There are over 40 active clubs at Stroudsburg High School.  Clearly, organizations play a huge role in the lives of hundreds of students.

In fact, despite the challenges the pandemic poses for the clubs, there are still a few new clubs forming this year.

Girls Who Code is a new club which is a national organization with the mission to close the gender gap in technology, especially in computer science. They will be meeting virtually every Wednesday 2:30-3:30. For those who are interested, contact [email protected]

A second new that has been created is the NAACP club. The focus of the organization will be to discuss how “to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.” (NAACP mission statement)

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has forced high school clubs to take a new approach to how they will operate meetings and events this year.

At SHS, club advisers have been given the opportunity to decide whether they want to keep their club in person or online.

Key Club, Health Science Club, FLBA, Aviedium, and TAP (The Acceptance Project) have already chosen to hold their meetings online, using Google Meet or on Zoom. 

“Each meeting will have a maximum of 25 students,” said SHS Principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl.

FBLA ( Future Business Leaders of America) helps high school students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs. The regional conference will be online in December and a few selected schools will be allowed to attend the state conference is in April.  Their ultimate goal is to attend the national conference at the end of June.

Key Club is an organization that helps the members develop leadership skills by volunteering for their school and community. They will be facing challenges because many events got canceled due to COVID-19. As a result, they have cut down the number of requirements students will be required to earn each semester. For example, the members typically must earn 4 points for meetings/donations and 4 points for volunteering, but now they need to earn 2 points for volunteering and 2 points for attending meetings per semester.

“We will still discuss further how the students will volunteer with COVID guidelines at the first meeting that will be held on October 7, “said vice president Dzhumile Hodzhova, a senior.

Many clubs, such as Student Government, Environmental Club, and Aevidum, have been able to take the first step and have already started hosting meetings.

Aevidum held its first virtual member meeting last Wednesday at 2:30 pm and they are still planning to have the Chalk about Mental Health on Tuesday 10/6 and Thursday 10/8.   

Meanwhile, other clubs, such as TAP and Book Club, have yet to hold their first meetings.

TAP will meet on October 15. Book Club chose their first novel through a survey, but have not set a meeting date yet. 

TAP is an organization that allows students to discuss the great social and political issues facing the world, nation, and community.

“Hosting challenging and uncomfortable conversations is already a challenge when people are talking face to face, but I’m a firm believer in continuing the conversations so TAP has continued to host our meetings online through Zoom,” said TAP founder Taha Vahanvaty, a senior. “While Zoom meetings pose unique challenges, they have also allowed us to branch out into other school districts, allowing students from other schools to partake in our TAP meetings making the discussion even more unique and dynamic.”

Some students have expressed their disappointment at not being able to interact with other students and enjoy the clubs to the full extent.

“I’m glad our school is going to make sure we can be as safe as possible, but I guess sadly not everyone will get the full experience,” said senior Elizabeth Pucilowski.