Potential Clubs for 2021-2022 Share Struggles, Hopes

As the deadline for club applications passed, Alison Truong, David Sun, Anvi Satpathy, and Sonali Kohli shared their experience with the EVHS Club Application Process amidst COVID-19.

Right under an announcement from Esports, a well established club at EVHS, are recruitment advertisements from WESAY and the Logical Development Club in the Schoolloop News Section.

Right under an announcement from Esports, a well established club at EVHS, are recruitment advertisements from WESAY and the Logical Development Club in the Schoolloop News Section.

Christina Huang and Inaya Yusuf

As the club applications deadline passed on March 29th, 2021, many of the clubs at EVHS that had submitted their renewals rested easy, knowing that as well-established clubs that had been at EVHS for many years with plenty of members, their approval was basically guaranteed. However, this was not the case for David Sun, Alison Truong, Anvi Satpathy, Sonali Kohli, and several other founding members of potential clubs for the 2021 – 2022 school year, who are still waiting to hear back from EVHS ICC. 

Holding on to their innovative ideas and pondering possibilities, these potential club founders took on the challenge of presenting their ideas, hoping to turn them into realities.

Such was the case with Alison Truong, founder and president of the Social and Emotional Intelligence Club (SEI), where she hopes to “teach other students about social and emotional intelligence.” This is a place where, she said,“people who feel like they don’t belong to an environment to learn and have fun and be part of a community.” 

Alison Truong, founder of the Social & Emotional Intelligence Club.

She didn’t “exactly have someone who inspired [her]”, but she did want to combat the feeling of having anyone feel misplaced within an environment, which she said was “a huge problem that I see in the community.” She plans to have her club be a safe space for “talking and learning about a topic [social & emotional intelligence] that isn’t touched up upon that is common in the world.”

David Sun, who is applying for his club, the Logical Development Club, to be approved, said that he mainly wants to create a fun way to engage others in lunchtime puzzle-solving activities. He said that in his club, he wants to provide an entertaining lunch period where students can do fun activities that help with logistical development. 

Anvi Satpathy and Sonali Kohli, co-presidents of the pending club WeSay, said that they want to do something that is able to “inspire others and make someone’s day.” Things like confidence, growth, empowerment, and self-esteem are all values that they hope to nurture within those who join the club.

Anvi Satpathy, a freshman and co-president of the potential WeSay Club.

All of these clubs had applied in the midst of distance learning, for which the application process had to be altered immensely. This year, unlike in previous years, a Google Drive folder took the place of the physical club binders that used to hold all of the information for applying clubs. 

Sun, a freshman without prior experience in-person, said that with all of the information being online, the directions for the online applications were unclear and jumbled up. Different bits of information, he said, were posted on different platforms so that it was very confusing for him to organize various forms. 

Truong emphasized her struggle with the petition form, saying that it was an additional burden, especially without being able to reach out to people in-person, to an already confusing online process.

The WeSay co-presidents said that the most difficult and frustrating part of their process were the officer interviews, which didn’t provide them with the connections they were seeking online. They are hopeful that with time and in-person learning, this will improve.

While the application process itself was often confusing at times, all of the club founders agreed that distance learning also had a significant impact on their ability to recruit interested members and officers, which is a crucial step to forming a new club. 

“Being with people physically makes it much easier for the application process because I don’t have to wait that long for people to respond to me.  As for my ability, I’m more of a speaker rather than a writer, so some points that I may want to convey may not be written in the best way.  Since we’re doing things virtually, recruiting members isn’t as effective as in person because through talking, I get to express our emotions clearly. For the interviewing process, I believe I would have gotten more applicants if we were in person because we would’ve gotten the opportunity to have a real connection.” explained Truong. 

Sun concurred, discussing how he attempted to recruit members and officers through email or Schoolloop since he lacked the personal contact information to reach most people, besides those he reached out to via personal connections. However, the Logical Development Club founder admitted that this hindered his process, as not many students check either platform frequently enough. 

Sonali Kohli, a freshman and co-president of the potential WeSay Club.

The WeSay co-presidents used a similar method to advertise their club. “As freshmen, it’s even more difficult for us since we don’t really know that many upperclassmen,” explained Satpathy, “We had to repost daily on the Schoolloop news section.” Kohli added that “It was hard at first and we were concerned because we didn’t get that many sign ups [for officers] in the beginning.” 

Despite all of the challenges the three potential clubs faced, all four of the founders agreed that it was a valuable learning experience. Sun mentioned how the process taught him that as a leader, one “need[s] to be more proactive when dealing with others and coordinating.” Satpathy emphasized that “time management is super important,” and Kohli continued by saying that the obstacles taught them that “getting to know people and hearing new ideas is important along with inclusivity and openness.” Truong stressed how crucial officers and teamwork were to the process: “It’s not just that positions are made for the sake of making them; it’s for the benefits and orderliness of the club.”

After reflecting upon the knowledge they gained from the process, the officers chose to focus on the future. Sun described the ideal club meeting as being one that was enticing and fun, with people eager to participate in puzzles and other activities not just for prizes, but to develop their logical skills. 

Truong’s future plans echoed Sun’s for unity: “I hope to have a huge Homecoming Snack Bar, because I am aware that Homecoming is a special event where the school can gather and have fun, to create that ‘home’ vibe.  Not only that, from my experience, I don’t see that many refreshments provided for reasonable prices at these events.  Therefore, we can engage in Homecoming by providing some snacks, and that alone already helps so many people.  As for club events, I hope to have a day trip where most of the members can do something fun outdoors, like paddleboarding, going to an amusement park, or even biking!”

Kohli and Satpathy both chimed in with plans of meeting in person, socializing to bond with club members, and providing members with the empowerment they seek through contests and guest speaker events. 

Having completed the application process on March 29th and finalized their potential officers, the founders are all hopeful that they will be approved and are looking forward to implementing their original plans, especially anticipating the return of in-person schooling.