Shining spotlight on different cultural clubs


Photo Courtesy Ziqing Chu

Students and members of the Asian American Student Union gather on PSAT day as a Wellness activity, to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. “We had a fundraiser at Poki DC to raise some money for all the decoration costs. As for event details, we had decor, food and karaoke,” Chu said.

Our school is home to many diverse groups of both students and staff which is well represented by different clubs. However, when someone asks about which club or union to join, the first clubs to be mentioned are the Black Student Union or the Jewish Student Union. While these clubs are important and deserve their roses, other clubs such as the Asian American Student Union and the Muslim Student Association do not get shown as much appreciation or praise for important work accomplished.

This school year, before Homecoming, the Middle Eastern and North African club, or MENA for short, decided to plan a bake sale with all proceeds raised going to Alight charity. While the bake sale was in partnership with Bake with Kindness, many students were unaware that the idea started in a MENA club meeting weeks before the sale and club members were responsible for the production of some of the baked goods. Although it may seem like a small and unimportant detail, it takes away from the general point of the club.

It cannot be reiterated enough that all representative clubs deserve their praise; however, it should be noted that other clubs provide the same opportunities but not nearly the same amount of recognition.

Just recently the Muslim Student Association introduced a prayer room to our school with the hopes of providing Islamic students with the opportunity to practice their prayers in a safe space. However, it hasn’t been highlighted enough especially since not a lot of students know where it is, to begin with.

“In the past, we’ve worked with Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream to Senior to fundraise for the drought in Somalia. We also had a Thanksgiving bake sale at the Islamic community center in Potomac for the Economic Relief Hunger Prevention Program and we also opened the school’s first prayer room. I feel like we are [underappreciated] just because at the beginning of the year, we had so many students show up but not anymore,” senior MSA president Soukey Nandoye said.

The Asian American Student Union, led by junior president Ziqing Chu hosted a Mid Autumn Festival celebration as a wellness activity on PSAT day.

“We also had a fundraiser at Poki DC to raise some money for all the decoration costs. As for event details, we had decor, food, and karaoke. Currently, our closest event is planning for Lunar New Year and then later on White Day during the spring. Lunar New Year will be similar to the Mid Autumn Festival with decorations and food. White Day seems to be the club’s favorite so far, we do a week-long event held during lunch to sell origami flowers [ White Day is similar to an East Asian valentine]. Later after the orders are placed, we deliver them to people in their seventh-period classes,” Chu said.

Similar in concept to the Mid Autumn Festival, the South Asian Student Union hosted the Diwali Celebration and is planning an upcoming event for both students and staff to take part in. Also similar to the majority of cultural clubs in our school, the South Asian Student Union is taking part in the cultural week being planned.

“There’s definitely a feeling that culture clubs are seen as less important and are easily overlooked. SASU tends to feel it more than others given that South Asians in general tend to be overlooked a lot. We’re a brand new club and we’ve managed to do quite a few big things, we can’t wait to do more,” junior Vice President Vedant Patel said.