BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Extracurricular clubs offer students the opportunity to take leadership roles, explore their interests, give back to those around them, and develop a community among like-minded students. To add to the numerous well-established clubs at Governor Livingston High School, 16 new clubs have been approved at the high school.
These new clubs include the Crochet Club, Creative Writing Club, Governor Livingston Book Club, Portuguese Club, Eastern European Cultures Club, Future Professionals in Medicine Club, Mindfulness Club, Sunrise and Sunset Club, Drum Circle Club, Caribbean Club, Governor Livingston Investors Club, Animal Appreciation and Conservation Club, Science Bowl, Operation Ocean Cleanup Club, and Song Writers and Composition Club.
The first step in the club approval process is for students to fill out a form on which they list their faculty advisor and the purpose of their club. Once the form is submitted, Assistant Principal James Finley confirms the faculty advisor and meets with Principal Robert Nixon and Assistant Principal Jacqueline Bartlett to discuss the club with the students.
Finley said, “We want to make sure that the students can follow their interests and provide a space for them. We are not really in the business of turning down clubs, but we also want to make sure it’s a productive part of the Governor Livingston culture.”
Clubs allow students to further explore their interests in specific areas outside of the classroom, which might explain why there has been a sharp increase in the number of student-led clubs. Rohit Rajesh, junior, is one of the presidents of the new Governor Livingston Investors Club, which he co-founded with junior Aidan Kyi.
Rajesh said, “Both of us, being interested in the aspect of investing and the stock market, wanted to take our interests to the next level by creating a club.”
Another possible explanation for the increase in clubs is the diverse culture at Governor Livingston. Some students may feel that the existing clubs are not meeting their specific areas of extracurricular interest.
Finley said, “We saw this diverse culture with the onset of some of the STEM clubs that were developed, with the new robotics team and new science clubs that popped up. We saw the same wave as students became more interested in activism and took on leadership roles and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives.”
The leadership opportunities and group collaboration that clubs provide allow students to follow the Governor Livingston mission, which is to include, inspire, and empower others to reach their full potential. Andrew Couto, junior, who is the president of the Civil Engineering Club, said. “Our club helps others learn more about STEM and working as a group to solve a problem.”
Each of these new clubs furthers student involvement around Governor Livngston and helps highlight student interest, while also allowing the students to have fun.
Julian Netter, junior, who brought the idea of starting a Ski Club to the school, said, “Our club’s goal is to provide experienced and new skiers and snowboarders with the opportunity to hit the slopes with their friends and meet new people with similar interests.” Due to the liability involved with skiing and snowboarding, the Ski Club, which is open to students who attend the high school, is actually affiliated with the YMCA. The club provides its thirty one members with a relaxing outlet outside of school.
Another new club that has contributed to the evolving Governor Livingston culture and made a positive impact is The Eastern European Cultures Club. Junior Artem Borets created the club in October to raise awareness about Eastern European nations, and give students of Eastern European descent the opportunity to share their experiences with their community.
“Our club has collected blankets and clothing that were sent to Ukraine and for the week of kindness in February, our club wrote over sixty letters that were sent to children and soldiers in Ukraine,” Borets said. Members of the club have also presented about their own Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian heritage.
The welcoming community of Governor Livingston and the diverse club environment has encouraged a large number of students and even administrators to attend club meetings and events. Borets said, “Administrations and members of the teaching staff came in to show support for our club which was very welcoming.”
Overall, the implementation of new clubs at Governor Livingston has given more students the opportunity to find their community and develop their interests further. Rajesh said, “We want club members to learn from these activities and take this knowledge onto the rest of their lives.”
Author : Ava Klinck
Source Url :https://www.tapinto.net/towns/berkeley-heights/sections/the-highlander/articles/governor-livingston-high-school-club-culture
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