At a school of over 4,500 students, it seems easy to get lost in the shuffle. In fact, according to the 2011-2012 Carmel High School Activities Handbook, “The phrase ‘You can make a big school small, but you can’t make a small school big’ is heard frequently at Carmel and similar schools. Although (Carmel is) a large school, the opportunity to participate in activities gives students the chance to ‘make a big school small’ by forming closer relationships with other students.” This is where clubs come in.
This issue, the HiLite Feature Staff has compiled information about three of the clubs and extracurricular activities offered here. The clubs we chose, however, are not the big name clubs (Big Game, Hip Hop Club) that everyone knows about. Instead, we have put the spotlight on clubs that very few people know about, and that have fallen into the folds that make up Carmel High School. It is our goal to give you a peek behind the curtain at these clubs, and we hope next time the opportunity presents itself, you will jump right in yourself. By Ryan Zukerman
My Little Pony Club (MLPC) meets every Tuesday after school to discuss events that have happened in a recent episode of the TV show “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic,” watch fan videos or engage in an activity such as trivia or a drawing contest. Although MLPC is simply a club for people who are fans of the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” many misconceptions have formed about the club, according to Andrew Riley, MLPC president and senior.
“I got into the show over the summer, and I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if I could just get a club together at the school for all the other people that I know who are fans of the show?’” Riley said. “But, I feel like a lot of people just think it’s girly and stuff. It actually goes beyond the fact the franchise goes toward that demographic.”
Mark Sangiorgio, MLPC member and junior, said he agrees and has felt that many people perceive the club in a false light. Sangiorgio said at the beginning of the club, many people thought MLPC was a secret football club that was under a pen name, and others thought that the members were all homosexual or all male. Sangiorgio said although the majority of the members are male, female members exist, and a majority of the members are not football members.
Sangiorgio said, “I just watch a TV show a lot like any other fan would do.”
Allyson Riley, club sponsor and mother of the MLPC president, agrees and said the club primarily promotes the show.
Allyson said, “I think the misconceptions about the club is that it’s all about the cartoon as opposed to the message and moral that the cartoon tries to teach. It’s not like a club like Invisible Children, where they have a mission, per se. They are just trying to get other students interested in the show and spread the message of the show, which is love and tolerance.”
Sangiorgio agrees and said one reason why he became interested in the show is because of the inspirational messages the show presents.
“There is kind of a magic to the show. It is a children’s show, but there is more to it. They tackle issues that children’s shows don’t usually really do,” Sangiorgio said. “In one episode, they tacked if whether there was a god or not, and successfully after a half-hour. (The show) concluded that it doesn’t matter, just as long that you accept other people’s beliefs. It just handles mature subjects so well and entertains at the same time.”
Andrew also said he enjoyed watching the show due to such messages, but humor was another factor in why he became interested in the show.
Andrew said, “I thought the humor was original and witty, and I thought the characters were just really entertaining. It’s actually a really good quality show with a bunch of high quality workers, animation and writing.” By Julie Xu
During his sophomore year, junior Hunter Leonard, like many of his classmates, was assigned three hours of community service for his interpersonal relations class. He turned to Do Something Club when his friend suggested that Leonard accompany him to the call-out meeting.
Since then, Leonard has risen as a vital member of the club. After volunteering at many of the club’s events, he saw in the spring that the president position was available. After applying, Leonard, along with junior Silvia Lee, was given the chance to manage Do Something Club as the new president.
According to sponsor James Ziegler, Do Something Club is a community service-based organization that orchestrates fundraisers as well as events in the community. Created three years ago by former students Darlene Pham and Viviane Linos, the club has grown to sponsor local as well as international charities and frequently visits nursing homes and homeless shelters.
“On the books, we have approximately 30 people,” Ziegler said, “but as for the regular attendees, we have between 12 to 15 people who come on a weekly basis to our meetings.”
When asked how the club differed from others at Carmel, Leonard said, “Compared to Key Club, there is no minimum hour requirement and no fee to be part of the club.”
In addition, he said he also gets to know the members a lot better than the officers of large clubs would with their members.
Ziegler said, “Our door is always open. Any student who wants to help the community is always welcome to join us.” By Sheen Zheng
When sophomore Katie Gao’s older sister came home from college with news about her participation in the Purdue Green Committee, a club devoted to promoting sustainable living, Gao said she saw a way to bring her interest in that cause to this school.
“Sustainable living is not just about food and agriculture,” Gao said. “It’s also about the daily, small decisions that (students) make.”
According to Gao, sustainable living encompasses everything from reducing, reusing and recycling to supporting the “slow foods movement,” which promotes local and organic produce.
Gao said she tries to emphasize the environmental impact of students’ lifestyles through the Sustainable Living Club (SLC), which she created in the fall of this school year and now has nearly 30 members.
According to club sponsor Erin Odya, she and co-sponsor Kathy Hallett mainly guide discussions and help club members execute their ideas. Odya said she agreed to sponsor the club because of what she learned about the importance of sustainable living while teaching AP Environmental Science.
“SLC isn’t about running out, buying a hybrid car and installing solar panels on your roof. It’s about the easy-to-do things we all can do that are often overlooked,” Odya said via email.
According to Gao, the club hosts monthly events, but primarily screens documentaries about sustainable living. Other months, she said, club members take field trips to the Carmel Farmers Market or listen to guest speakers. The last SLC event, for example, was a presentation on Feb. 22 by Nathan Claus, an advocate for sustainable living.
According to Gao, she also wants club members to have long-term goals each year. This year, their project is building a school vegetable garden, in which students can participate in growing and harvesting indigenous crops. However, she said, this idea is still in its early stages, and club members still need to research and make a formal proposal to the administration before they will be able to proceed.
“It is our first year,” Gao said. “(The school garden) is a bit ambitious, but we wanted to start with a bang.” By Hafsa Razi