COVID-19 and Clubs at WESS

COVID-19+and+Clubs+at+WESS

Elizabeth Alton

Even though we aren’t physically at WESS, there are many ways that we can stay united as a school community. One method of staying involved is through joining and participating in one of WESS’s student-run clubs. I spoke to the leaders and staff of some of WESS’s student-run clubs to get updates about how they’re adapting in light of public school closure to keep the WESS community active in the coming weeks. Additionally, if any students are interested in finding a new activity or club to join in light social distancing, I hope this can serve as a guide to that as well.

 

Student Council

Jackie Lovci (‘22), is currently our class president. Even though, as she said, “student council’s role will be a little bit more removed from the school simply because we’re really responsible for all of the things that go on in the school like dances and fundraisers,” the student council is working to adapt to the new circumstances. Jackie explained, “we’ll be working with the student body to try and figure out how to make that better and figure out how to maximize our learning even though we’re not in the classroom, and stay in a school community while we can’t see each other.” As of now, the student council is waiting to see what distance learning looks like so they can work with the student body and administration to improve it to the best of their abilities. The student council will also be rolling out an online tutoring system to supplement distance learning. If you want to reach out to Jackie and the rest of the council with questions/concerns/ideas, you can reach them at [email protected]

 

Glamor Gals

This chapter of Glamor Gals at WESS is currently run by its president Aiynr Benedis-Grab (‘22) and vice president Adriana Mujovic (‘22). Members of the WESS chapter, as well as the chapters in each borough, work towards the goal of alleviating the loneliness of our cities’ elderly. Adriana explained that while the more active parts of the club appear to be postponed (i.e. students will not be able to visit seniors), Adriana and Aiynr are working to keep the club moving. During this time, Adriana said, “Glamor Gals is also encouraging members, leaders, and any volunteers to continue doing journal entries, maybe think of things like writing letters and such, just to keep that same goal of trying to diminish elderly loneliness.” If you’re interested in helping with a letter-writing project, or anything else along that line, feel free to reach out to Adriana at [email protected] or Aiynr at [email protected].

 

Social Justice

Since the beginning of this year, Ava Napach (‘22) and the rest of the social justice club has been hard at work. Their club is discussion-based, and they also work with each other to implement projects. Ava updated me about their work this year, saying “earlier this year we did a team trees fundraiser. We raised 200-300 dollars, which is a lot of trees, from a bake sale.” As part of their current project, they have been working to get a representative from Planned Parenthood to come in and talk to students about “teen health and our rights, as well as what can remain confidential with clinics or health professionals.” Right now, they are working on coming up with a mission statement for their club, keeping up their contact with Planned Parenthood, and brainstorming more ideas for projects. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can reach Ava at [email protected]

 

GSA

Caroline Litton (‘22) said that she’s going to wait until remote learning starts before deciding the status of the GSA. As she explained, “I think seeing how the teachers will run classes will give me insight into how to run my club remotely.” That said, the GSA’s next steps are reaching out to PFLAG, an organization that educates students about LGBTQ+ issues, as well as possibly continuing discussions through other mediums. If you’re interested in contributing to the GSA you can send an email to [email protected].

 

CSGO

The CSGO (Counter-Stick: Global Offensive) club, per the name, works to perfect their member’s skill and strategy at the egame CSGO. CSGO’s Matthew Shulman (‘22), a longtime member, explained that the club is “not really affected by the coronavirus as much because most things are online: our matches are online, our games are online, and our tournament organizers are online.” That said, one of their ‘land tournaments’ (tournaments that take place in a designated space), may be canceled. Right now, the club is in between their fall and spring seasons, so if you’re interested in learning how to play or participate, now would be an ideal time to join. If you’re interested, you can email Matthew at [email protected].

 

Philosophy

Malek Elashry (‘22) currently runs the philosophy club at WESS. During a normal meeting he explained, “we meet up at Travis’s room with a predetermined topic in our heads, and we discuss it. It’s usually a philosophical question about reality, knowledge, morals, etc.” As of now, Malek is hoping to switch to a virtual medium for discussions. If you’re interested in joining the philosophy club, you can reach Malek at [email protected]

 

Model UN

Mirella Berkowitz (‘23) runs WESS’s first Model UN (United Nations) club. Model UN is an activity in which students role-play as UN ambassadors and delegates, and, per the name, model what a decision in the UN would look like. Mirella explained, “we generally start off as a group discussing the schedule, what has gotten done, and what we need to do and then we work on our papers or research individually and/or in groups.” Even though “being off from school has shifted our schedule we are trying to still work towards our conference at the end of the year.” If you’re a high schooler who wants to get involved as well, you can reach out to Mirella at [email protected]

 

Debate

Jasmine Sanchez (‘22), a member of the debate team since its founding in 2015, explained that “debate is essentially postponed until further notice because all of our scheduled tournaments were canceled.” That said, if you’re interested in debate, you may be interested in checking out WESS’s Model UN. 

 

Newspaper

On behalf of WESS side stories, Pia Sharma, Daisy Koffler, Elisha Verebes, Jackie Lovci, Tamara Houck, and I have been working closely to ensure that the WESS Newspaper continues to function while we can’t be in school. While this situation (in terms of COVID-19) is far from ideal for anyone, we want to use this time to grow our school newspaper in a way that we haven’t been able to in the past. Our goal is to set up a journalism program that students want to engage with, want to read, and want to share with their families and friends.

In terms of projects, we’re currently accepting work from any students who want to engage with our platform. Additionally, we’re accepting answers to a prompt about students’ experiences with the coronavirus. Please check out the instructions on our website for submitting work/email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in getting involved!