By Grace Gerardi
The past year has brought numerous new clubs to Batavia High School, including Career Club and Open Circle. These organizations are run by Ms. Gia Russo and Alexandra Davis, respectively, and they cater to the broad scope of interests fostered by BHS.
Career Club, a creation of the resident Career and Junior/Senior Counselor Ms. Russo, aims to keep students informed regarding their place in the working world. The club provides exposure to different career opportunities. Thus far in the semester, the club has hosted numerous speakers and has plans to invite more. Speakers have included a nurse, a dentist, and the Vice President of Sales for Pure Water Systems of Chicagoland. Speakers are often contacted and invited by students themselves, as the club is primarily student-led. When speakers are not present, meetings focus on professional skills such as résumé building and writing business-related emails.
“As a professional in any arena making connections and learning from people has a huge, huge impact and I don’t think that’s something that’s focused on or taught in high school, nor even in college for that matter,” Russo said. “I want it to be student focused, so, anything they bring to the table I’m open to help facilitate.”
Open Circle is another club at BHS which focuses on student-led discussion. The organization is led by Alex Davis, a senior, and it aims to provide a receptive, easygoing environment in which students can discuss anything they wish to. Meetings typically begin by organizing attendees into a circle to facilitate relaxed conversation, followed by brainstorming discussion topics. As the meeting progresses, the conversation continues to be led by participants, and it can range from everyday topics to issue with more gravity.
Davis says, “The conversation just kind of leads itself and everyone gets a chance to talk. It can go from talking about what we’d like to do in the future, to weird dreams we’ve had, or even family issues at home. The meeting is very flexible and can go whichever way we decide to take it.”
According to Davis, many students feel uneasy about coming to a meeting due to the misperception that it is a counselor-driven club which focuses solely on heavy issues. However, she maintains that this is not true.
“One of the largest issues I find with this generation is fear. The fear to talk aloud, fear to meet new people, fear to share your opinions, fear to share your feelings, and fear to try new things, fear to stand out, and fear to be different,” Davis said, “Open Circle is facing those fears and taking them head on. But instead of doing it alone, you can do it as a community, with your peers, and with your friends, comfortably and safely. So don’t be afraid, and don’t be afraid to stand out by being yourself.”
Career Club is held in D101 every other Wednesday at 2:30. Open Circle is held in A101 on Wednesdays at 2:40.
Other clubs that were recently introduced to BHS include Amnesty International and Ultimate Frisbee Club. “Amnesty,” as it is referred to by its members, involves student activism and emphasizes the rights enshrined in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It meets every other Wednesday in C123. Ultimate Frisbee Club is run by Mr. Marzullo, a chemistry teacher, and Dan Raymond, the Director of Worship Arts and Youth Ministries at the Batavia Covenant Church. The club welcomes players of any skill level and invites anyone interested to check out a practice. Practices are held at 3:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays at Engstrom Park and require athletic attire.
“We place having fun in a positive environment as one of our top priorities,” Marzullo stated. This is a common tenet of all four clubs.