Looking for Extracurriculars? Join the Club!

Looking for Extracurriculars? Join the Club!

Ewan McInerney, Staff Writer

Several students have created a wide variety of extracurriculars at LASA. The Liberator has spotlighted several of them here. Programs that aren’t featured here and are interested in appearing in a future issue should contact the Liberator.

Photography Club

Due to online schooling, many school resources such as professional camera equipment are no longer available to students. However, according to club co-founder and sophomore Claire Prairie, Photography Club aims to show students that they can express their creativity through taking pictures even if they don’t have access to professional equipment.

Photography club was created by Prairie and fellow sophomore Miranda Nguyen at the beginning of this school year and is sponsored by Yearbook and Ezine teacher Kate McGuire. Sophomore Anokhi Sheth and freshmen Anya Ruttala and Jaynie Lee are also involved in running the club.

Prairie said the founders plan to have structured Zoom meetings for the time being. However, the main purpose of the club is to give students the opportunity to take pictures of whatever they want.

“Personally, I’m really into candid shots of people and also wildlife photography,” Prairie said. “But I think for the people in the club – they get to choose what they’re interested in and practice that.”

Nguyen said sometimes there is the misconception that good photography needs expensive professional cameras and equipment. According to her though, the Photography Club aims to show students otherwise.

“We usually just use our phones to take pictures,” Nguyen said. “Because phones are easily accessible and a lot of people don’t have access to professional equipment.”

Once the quarantine ends, the club will take place on Thursdays during lunch in Ms. McGuire’s yearbook classroom. The club will be more interactive and open when students are allowed to go back to the LASA campus, which Prairie said will create a more dynamic atmosphere.

LASA Cares

LASA Cares has existed for several years in the form of LBJ Cares, but the name was changed when LASA became its own school. The club is flexible, hosting only a few real sessions every year, but allows students that want to take part in volunteer work to dedicate hours based on their own schedules.

Sadhana Kumar is the junior Vice President of the club. According to her, volunteering at the club is a little bit of everything.

“What we do is compile a bunch of events around the city,” Kumar said. “Some of them are in-school events, and some of them are community events, like volunteering at the marathon. People can sign up and we send them more information about how to participate, and we can track their hours as well.”

Lily Keefauver is the treasurer of the club. She said LASA Cares is adjusting to the restrictions of the quarantine and creating opportunities in which students can participate virtually. 

“We know that not a lot of people are going to volunteer in person, and some people can’t,” Keefauver said. “So we’re looking at stuff you can do remotely and from home. I know one of our officers was talking with the hospital to see if we could maybe write cards to the nurses or staff or care workers and we could send those in. Anything we can do from home.”

According to Kumar, COVID-19 will definitely have big impacts on students’ ability to volunteer. However, the purpose of LASA cares remains true.

“I would say the purpose of LASA Cares is to encourage people to volunteer in the community,” Kumar said.” And not just volunteer individually, but as a group, so we can make a larger impact.”

Ethics in Media Club

Ethics in Media Club at LASA was co-founded by seniors Chan Moon and Ian Poe at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. The aim of the club is to explore how different media outlets present contrasting narratives on the same events.

During in-person schooling, the club met every week on Mondays, but now meets about every month over Zoom. It is sponsored by World Geography teacher Kathryn DiGioia.

According to Moon, he got the idea to found the club when he was scrolling through the news. He noticed multiple different news sources reporting with different perspectives of similar topics – portrayals that were not entirely false, but sometimes took the truth out of context.

“I noticed that FOX and CNN are usually on opposite sides, and when they cover the same event, the narrative is totally different,” Moon said. “I just wanted to discuss the contrasts between reporting different events.”

One of the biggest topics discussed in the club is the media’s narrative of COVID-19, according to Poe. He said the way that different news sources have responded to it is very fragmented.

“If you look at more liberal sources versus more conservative sources, there’s really a huge disconnect between the way they conceptualize both the importance of the issue and the responses to the issue, and I think that speaks to a lot of deeper contingency in media that you can see throughout recent years and how media plays out events,” Poe said.

According to Moon, getting news from just one source can be dangerous. The club aims to bring both sides of the story to light.

“News sources are supposed to be unbiased, but sadly, that’s not always the truth,” Moon said. There are biases that go into news that sometimes, the people who write it aren’t even aware of, and because of that, we need to be able to get news from different sources and different viewpoints to get an understanding of the true story.”