Annual SRHS Club Rush Bring Students Together Over Shared Passions


Jacob Salveson, Contributor

During lunch on Friday, September 23rd, SRHS students encountered candy, colorful signs, smiling faces, and choices aplenty. These were all aspects of the school’s Club Rush, where all students are given the opportunity to learn more about the various clubs and groups on campus. But beyond some complementary candy and another event to mark on the already packed calendar, what role does Club Rush and the clubs it promotes play at SRHS?

As with any high school, San Rafael High has its own distinct array of groups and clubs. From one standing for social justice (GayStraight Alliance or GSA) to another about everything there is to know about circuses (yes, Circus Club), clubs offer a means for students to express and share their interests with others. “It’s really amazing,” said SRHS senior Luca Caviness. “It’s like the melting pot of San Rafael High School.”

If not a member of a sport or one of SRHS’ two academies (Media Academy and Physics Academy), most students might hardly say “hi” to students in other grade levels. That’s why these clubs enable students to interact and connect over shared passions and across grade levels- erasing existing lines in the sand between one another. SRHS Senior Alexander Mercer has had positive experiences with GSA, Drama, and the Coddiwomple Book club. Clubs have enriched Mercer’s social life and fostered lasting connections with students across grade levels. “I’ve met tons of friends through clubs, [including] juniors, sophomores and freshmen,” he said.

SRHS Principal Mr. Dominguez was a member of many clubs in high school (Drama, Choir, and Marching Band, to name a few). He described the fundamental role they play at the school and for students. “When students get involved outside of the classroom, they build leadership, communication and time management skills that end up helping them in the classroom,” said Principal Dominguez. He hopes to demonstrate his commitment and support for SRHS clubs and student involvement. “In future years, I’ll really concentrate on building a stronger effort to get more kids involved,” he said.

Clubs also provide a forum to learn about and promote equal access and opportunities for everyone, including those groups who have endured historical hardship and discrimination. Teegan Mack, the vice-president and founder of the Black Student Union, spoke on the impact of her club. After a suggestion from her mother, she created it in order to provide African American students a place where they could feel comfortable and discuss relevant issues. Mack also believes the club can provide a place where African American students are able to connect more personally in their shared identity. At SRHS, African American students are a significant minority, only comprising 1.6% of the total student body. So with so few to do so, Mack stepped up to the task. “If it should be anyone, it should be me,” Mack said. Of course, students of all races and backgrounds are welcome to join in their shared support of African American culture and identity.

Caviness, a three-year member of the SRHS’ Mock Trial group said, “Clubs can be really great in meeting new people from different environments.” He has met many underclassmen in his recent club experience, though he did struggle when trying to create his own club: The Investment Club. The application process proved a roadblock for him, yet Caviness did say, “The administration is handling it the best they can, even though it is excessive.”

Another issue clubs may struggle with is exposure – some students don’t even know certain clubs exist. Sarah Mardesich, an SRHS Senior, isn’t a member of any clubs, though she’s said she’d love to join one. When asked how many clubs she knew of, she said she could only name two. Sophomore Aleesha Getsy could name three but also expressed interest in joining a club. New clubs are being created yearly, and there are over fifteen clubs on SRHS campus to date. Both didn’t know where they could find more information.

This is where Club Rush comes in. Approved clubs can show off in a huge display with signs, decorated tables, friendly faces, and all the details to spread club awareness each September. Most students join clubs during this time; it’s by far the biggest club event of the year.

This year’s Club Rush had a huge turnout. It seems students of all grades were ready to get involved and connected. Students entered The Commons and heard the bustling of energy and conversation among clubs, old and new. Some of the newer clubs on campus include The Christian Club, The SRHS Podcast, the Manga Club and the aforementioned Black Student Union

Club Rush serves as an outlet to explore and find out more about what clubs are and how to get involved with them on campus. In this way they may serve to promote connectivity and learning opportunities for students through each grade level and background. Mercer agreed. “Seeing the vast improvements in student involvement and drive, I think we’re looking at a bright future for clubs [at SRHS] moving forward.”