Interest Overload

Student inspiration helps lay foundations for new organizations

Lena Palmieri, Editor-In-Chief

Every year, more clubs and honor societies are founded, which adds to the wide spectrum of activities offered at schools. However this semester, students were motivated to take charge and create new clubs based on their interests. 

After seeing it at other schools, students were fascinated by the idea of a Scholars Bowl and asked social studies teacher Andrew Berding if he could help bring it to the community.

“I think it just needed the groundswell of interest before it could be in this building,” Berding said. “Some incoming individuals, incoming freshmen, really wanted this.”

The club is a KSHSAA-sponsored organization that consists of two teams of five going head to head in academic trivia. The questions consist of subjects students would learn in school including, mathematics, social studies and science. 

“JV tournaments, for example, are supposed to have trivia questions based on the things that you would learn by the end of your sophomore year of high school and varsity would be kind of by the end of your high school career,” Berding said. 

Despite Scholars Bowl being initiated by a group of students, a new club was founded by one student with a passion for her culture. Junior Shurti Biscuitwala created the South Asian Student Association to help give South Asian students an opportunity to express themselves.

“I created SASA just because I realized there are other clubs where students of certain regions can feel comfortable and share and help the community in that area but there was nothing specifically for South Asian students,” Biscuitwala said. “In the future, we are trying to create this organization that helps South Asian kids struggling with education.”

When SASA first started, it only included Biscuitwala and some of her friends. However, they are continuing to grow and spreading the message throughout the school. They have already advertised themselves by creating an Instagram and are preparing events where anyone can participate.

“[SASA is] not just learning about the religion and [there are] actually more fun activities planned with the club,” Biscuitwala said. “We have a holy event coming up in March that we’re planning for where you get to just have fun with your friends and throw colors at them.”

Similarly to SASA helping out with the South Asian student community, a different club is dedicated to serving all communities in the area. Family Career and Community Leaders of America is a club run by family and consumer science teachers Jazmin Walker and Kaylee Hicks whose mission is to solve problems within the school or surrounding community. 

“[FCCLA is] very student-led,” Hicks said. “Students will be deciding what they want to do, what kind of projects they want to do, and how they want to be involved in our school.”

The necessary creativity involved with this club is a crucial part of why certain students wanted to see this club transform into a reality. Hicks and Walker are also hoping to see students competing at the state and national level once the club gains more traction.

“Students were interested in the organization and we really wanted to bring it to Southwest,” Walker said. “There’s a lot of great opportunities for students to travel, get scholarships, and it’s just a good experience.”

With these clubs and many others bringing new opportunities to pursue, students can easily find their niche at the school. The first steps that students took to make new clubs are a challenge, but the outcome when it succeeds is rewarding.

“I just wanted to create [a club] for Southwest with my friends,” Biscuitwala said.