Samo’s Freshman Seminar teachers are planning The Freshman Club Panel, a second semester event that will help freshmen learn more about clubs at Samo.
To an incoming freshman, choosing from Samo’s list of over 100 clubs may seem daunting. With the huge number of clubs available, finding one which allows a student to pursue his or her interests is difficult, especially to a student new to the school. This event will hopefully be a solution to the problem.
“One of our ultimate goals for freshman seminar is that students see how they can be a positive participant in their community,” I-House Principal Reneé Semik said. “The club panel would allow students that are participating in clubs to talk about what they do and how they got involved.”
According to Semik, the Freshman Club Panel will consist of upperclassmen representing different clubs who will talk to a gathering of freshmen about their clubs or organizations.
“We want our freshman to see what kinds of opportunities are out there for them to take advantage of at Samohi,” Semik said. “Upperclassmen involved in clubs will talk about why and how they decided to join, what the club does, identify their cause and talk a little bit about why our freshman would want to get involved.”
A large part of Samo’s Freshman Seminar curriculum encourages having an active role in the community. Freshman seminar teacher Marisa Silvestri hopes this message will be presented through the club panel.
“I think the earlier that we can encourage kids to get involved, the more likely they will see the impact they can have,” Silvestri said. ”There’s kind of this stigmatism with younger generations of ‘what can I do, I’m only a 14 or 15 year old kid’ and I feel that if we can help more kids to feel like they have a part in this community and can be positive influences, they’ll feel more empowered to make a difference.”
Silvestri says the Freshman Club Panel was initially going to be in the beginning of the school year, but was postponed for a number of reasons.
“It got hectic,” Silvestri said. “So we’ve decided to put it together during second semester, because the second semester common test for freshmen is community involvement. We’re hoping that upperclassmen can share how freshmen can get involved in the community and the benefits of getting involved.”
Silvestri says that if the Freshman Club Panel goes well this year, next year it will be at the beginning of the year.
“We’re going to test it out second semester, probably right before California State Testing and see whether clubs are interested in participating,” Silvestri said. “If we have really good interest and see it’s really productive for freshmen, we’ll organize it sometime in the first month of school next year and it could be more of an orientation type of thing.”
Already, some clubs have shown interest in the idea of the Freshman Club Panel.
“I would love for our club to participate,” Human Rights Watch Club president Cameron Speyer said. “It’s extremely important to recruit freshmen, so we can ensure an experienced, well-informed group of leaders when those freshmen become juniors and seniors.”
The details of the event have still not all been settled, and the Freshman Seminar teachers putting the event together have a lot of work to do.
“We’re thinking right now of creating a couple panels of club representatives and maybe doing it in the library or the Humanities Center. It depends on how many clubs are really interested in participating,” Silvestri said.
Silvestri is hopeful that the event will inspire freshmen to make a difference in their community.
“I hope for it to become kind of student-infused with the energy that students at Samo have,” Silvestri said. “I want the freshmen to feel like they have a part in this community.”