New clubs work to get members

DECA Club
DECA Club

Every year, students at the high school found new clubs, but many of these clubs can face difficulties.

Freshman Amir Siraj started the BHS Innovation Club this year.

“I founded the Innovation Club with the vision of getting students participating in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] and engineering and innovation contests and to really bring the spirit of innovation to the school.” Siraj said.

The club sets out to dispel common notions about high schoolers, he said.

 “Most people think high school students can’t really make a difference, so our goal is to prove that wrong and engineer something important,” Siraj said.

According to Siraj, the only challenge the club faces now is funding.

However, Siraj said the club is being provided with valuable engineering software it received as part of a contest it entered.

 “They’ve provided us with tens of thousands of dollars worth of 3D engineering software and collaboration software and it’s been really great,” Siraj said.

Business teacher Brittany Stevens advises the DECA Business Club, which she started this year.

“The club is actually a series of national competitions, so it’s structured similar to an athletic team. You compete in business events at the district level,” Stevens said. “If you win, you move to the state level, and if you win again, you move to the national/international conference. We meet weekly to talk about preparation for events. Students can choose from over 40 categories from sports marketing to finance, if that interests them.”

The largest problem the club has faced is gathering a committed group of students to attend meetings and events, Stevens said.

“We’re new, just getting the word out,” Stevens said. “I tried to get students that I had taught to spread the word, but there may be many students at the school who’ve never heard of this thing who might be interested. It’s kind of just a marketing issue: how do we spread the word that this is something that’s happening?”

Stevens said any students who love competition or learning business should definitely give the DECA Business Club a try.

Sophomores David Knopov and Alex Xu founded the BHS Help Committee, a club built to give back to the community without committing to one specific charity or cause.

“Instead of focusing on one thing,” Knopov said, “we help wherever we can around the school and by doing charities. We also help clubs. If they need help with a fundraiser, we’ll help them. But if there’s a charity that we want to do, we’ll do that too.”

Knopov agreed with Stevens’ remarks on student commitment.

“You have to have every single person focused during the meeting and not all talking with side conversations,” Knopov said, “and that’s hard because it’s the middle of the school day and everyone wants to talk. Not everyone shows up every single meeting because they want to hang out with friends.”

Both Knopov and the adviser for the Amnesty International Club, Benjamin Kahrl, said the process of creating a club tends to be straightforward and easy.

According to Knopov, most challenges lay in the planning and dedication to the club.

“There are a lot of challenges to face,” Knopov said. “You can’t just say we’re going to do this and do it. You have to plan it out and it takes a really long time.”

Ben Miller-Schimdt and Robby Lamont can be contacted at [email protected]