Santa Rosa High School Online Clubs

Digital debate. Shai Fichtelberg (top-middle) practices with her teammates for their next debate tournament in November. In the past the team would meet in person to practice, but due to COVID-19 this won’t be possible until school resumes. “Some pros to online debate are it’s cheaper, every tournament costs money to put on and to go to. Online debate has also given more people the opportunity to join,” said Fichtelberg of the debate team. “Some cons are that we aren’t face to face so it’s harder to make an impact and debate.”
Photo By: Shai Fichtelberg

Article By: Evan Mirante

Joining a club is part of the high school experience for many students, it is a way to make new friends and get involved. This year, clubs at Santa Rosa High School will look different as they go virtual.

Shai Fichtelberg, a 17-year-old senior, has been a part of Santa Rosa High School’s Debate Club since she was a freshman. The club is operating a little differently now that everything is done online, but this hasn’t stopped the club from competing in their first tournament last month.

“Debate is very much an in-person club, we normally go to tournaments, compete face to face, and our practices are always in person,” Fichtelberg said. “With this new format, we have had to go from completely in-person to fully virtual.” 

The Debate Club isn’t the only club that has gone virtual. There are over 15 clubs that you can now join from the comfort of your own home. Despite the new format of Zoom meetups, all of these clubs are trying their hardest to make sure that each club runs smoothly and students can enjoy themselves. “This year has been a tough year for all of us and joining clubs would be a great distraction from the outside world,” said Juan Torres, the president of the Latinos Unidos Club.  

Torres said the Latino Unidos Club, which focuses on Mexican culture and traditions, will hold weekly Zoom meetings but still plans on holding in-person meetings once distance learning is over. He said they will have to change the way they operate other events such as their pop-up sales to fund the club and drive-in movie nights in order to adhere to COVID guidelines, but he hopes these events will still go on.

The Key Club, which focuses on community service, will also need to make some changes. “Following the COVID rules and social distancing has forced us to think out of the box of how to still volunteer in the community,” said Lisa Anderson, the advisor for the Key Club. They still plan on having on-going service projects and activities like Trick or Treat for UNICEF, Drive-Thru Halloween At Howarth Park, and Caravan to Candy Drive-Thru for Seniors.  

Sawyer Willis, a 17-year-old senior and president of the SRHS GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance), said their club will operate the same way as last year, except on Zoom. If members want to break out into smaller discussion groups, they can do this in break out rooms. Willis said the club, which is all-inclusive for all genders and sexualities to come together, will hold virtual movie nights on Netflix Party or Group Watch on Disney+.

The Chess Club usually plays games in-person but have switched to an online format using online chess programs to play against each other. “For those that enjoy the in-person game, a two-person Zoom or Google meeting with a chess set (on) each end might work,” said Mitchell Utsey, the advisor of the chess club.

The Best Buddies Club relies on personal connections to build friendships between students with and without an intellectual or developmental disability. “Having all of the meetings online makes it more challenging to have the same meaningful connections with people,” said Tara Elsa, the club’s social media director. Despite these challenges, Elsa said their first meeting went well. They plan to do “Charades, Pictionary, drawing, or some other art or craft at each meeting,” Elsa said.

For some clubs, operating online won’t make much of a difference. The Art and Writing Club which holds a weekly themed writing and art contest has already adjusted to the online format. Club president, Emilie Cates, said they use Google Classroom to accept submissions and share information. “It’s the perfect opportunity for artists and writers wanting to get their work out there,” said Cates.

The following is a list of online clubs and how you can join:

The Debate Club meets every Friday from 2-4 p.m. Email: celsa@srcs.k12.ca.us for information or go to: https://classroom.google.com/c/MT13NzQ3MzgwMDAx?cjc=gwk6yus.

Latinos Unidos Club meets on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. For updates follow on Instagram @_latinos.unidos.

The Chess Club meets on Fridays at 1:00 p.m. Use the Google Classroom Code: ohwge43 to join. Email:  mutsey@srcs.k12.ca.us with questions.

Art and Writing Club: Use the Google Classroom Code: Q24UIRE to join.

The Best Buddies Club meets on Fridays at 1:00 p.m. Find out more at their Instagram page @bestbuddies.srhs or email: 4geffs@gmail.com.

The SRHS Key Club meets every Friday at 3 p.m. Contact: landerson@srcs.k12.ca.us.

The SRHS GSA Club: For more information contact: srhs.gsa2020@gmail.com or follow on Instagram @srhs.gsa_

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Club: Make yourself a PB&J sandwich and interact with other students through games and other fun activities. The club meets every Friday from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. To join follow their Instagram @srhspbclub and message them your name and email address.

The Black Student Union Club: This club offers a safe place where students can have discussions and do activities about their culture and ethnicities. They meet every other Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Use the Google Classroom Code: q3xnthy to join.

The Cereal Club: Love cereal? Then this club is for you. Eat your favorite cereal and talk to other students. The club meets on selected Fridays at the second break. For more information check out their Instagram @srhscerealclub or email: ejbohn@srcs.k12.ca.us.

The Christian Club meets Wednesdays at 1 p.m. The Google Classroom code is 6sr4iym.

The Clay Club: For information, email cgiffen@srcs.k12.ca.us.

The Skills USA Club: This club focuses on career technical education including welding automotive, drafting and cabinetry. Students compete in competitions using these skills. For more information on Zoom meetings and more, contact: kcostello@srcs.k12.ca.us.

The Math Club: If you love math, then this club is for you. Participate in California Math League contests, Trig Star, pie day, Exploratorium and Academy of Science trips, and more. Check with your math teacher for the latest information or go to: https://srhsmath.yolasite.com.

MECHA Club: This club focuses on community service. Some services they provide are care packages for the homeless, cleaning the beach, blanket drives and more. Find out more on their Instagram page @mechadesrhs.

In this time of feeling isolated because of COVID and distance learning, why not join one of the many clubs offered at Santa Rosa High School.

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