The Liberator

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Several students have created new clubs since last year. The Liberator has spotlighted several of them here. Clubs that aren't featured and are interested in appearing in future issues should contact the Liberator.

Marlen Avila and Megan Ramsey

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Self Defense Club

Sophomore Alexa Judd started Self Defense Club to teach female students how to defend themselves against predators. Judd uses her background in jiu-jitsu to teach self-defense.

Jiu-jitsu is a close combat martial art, which doesn’t require use of weapons to prevail. Judd said sexual assault in society was prevalent and wants members of the club to be able to respond effectively during dangerous situations.

“We just want to arm people with some self-defense tactics, if someone were to try to take you somewhere where you don’t want to go,” Judd said.

Judd said she wanted to provide students with a safe space where they could have fun while addressing the possibility of being attacked.

“The assumption is whoever is attacking you is likely stronger and faster than you, and generally much more physically able than you,” Judd said. “You have to rely on the movement of energy and using all of your possible muscles in different ways to successfully escape. The purpose isn’t to knockout your opponent, the point of it is to escape and go home.”

Judd said she wants members to be prepared and able to handle any situation. Members learn tactics that do more than fighting back.

“We also want them [to] take away their ability to not panic and continue to think rationally in situations like that because if you start panicking and start pulling, you’re going to tire yourself out which is exactly what they want,” Judd said. “If you’re able to keep yourself calm, some of the moves involve just waiting them out.”

GO Club

Two years ago, junior Zoe Dubin started LASA’s first GO Club. Filled with students jumbled together during lunch and happily shouting at each other while playing GO, Dubin said this club embodied LASA’s nerdy atmosphere.

GO is an ancient Chinese board game that originated almost 3,000 years ago. It consists of two players competing against each with game pieces called “stones” with the goal of capturing the opponent’s territory on the grid board. Despite having direct and simple rules, Dubin said this game requires strategic thinking.

“I thought that GO would be very good for LASA because it’s a technical game, and a lot of people really like skill and technical games,” Dubin said.

Dubin became interested in GO after learning how to play chess, and later created the self-named club with friends. The club holds free-form meetings, in which students are able to choose between playing, watching or learning new strategies. Additionally, GO Club holds tournaments for participating members.

“We do a tournament every year,” Dubin said.” We did one last year. There’s going to be a prize, I haven’t decided on what but generally they’re pretty good.”

According to Dubin, the club has a relaxing environment which promotes fun games and competitions.

“If you really like skills and thinking ahead, if you like chess, then you’ll definitely like GO,” Dubin said. “It’s a strategy game but it’s not too hard to pick up. Don’t feel like you have to be super smart at everything to be able to play.”

The Academy

A place to hold controversial conversations about everyday topics is the goal of The Academy of Controversial Conversations, founded by juniors Jamie Corum and Emma Linder. This club is dedicated to fostering discourse and hearing different opinions with other students. Corum said that the club took inspiration from Plato’s Academy from ancient Athens.

“The Academy is the school of different scholars who came in Athens that Plato created after he started investigating and exploring the ideas of Socrates,” Corum said. “He basically put a bunch of smart people in a room together and had them puzzle out with all of their different knowledge and expertise to answer all of the big questions in the universe. He tried to seek the idea of love, beauty and government.”

Because it is discussion-based, the club relies on the topics brought by the members. According to Corum, there is not a designated topic for every meeting. Instead, she said this free-form style leads to invigorating conversations, and helps to learn and understand more about the topic and the person defending their opinions.

“One of the big fun things is when two groups of people or even two individuals have completely opposing viewpoints, that’s kind of the point to show why their opinion matters just as everyone else’s,” Corum said. “We don’t want it to be an echo chamber for everyone to have the same ideas. We love people with different opinions and different viewpoints to be able to fight for them. Really it’s not supposed to be attacks on people, it’s supposed to be attacks on ideas.”

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Searching for extracurriculars? Join the club