New clubs at LHS aim for increased inclusion and fun

New clubs this year include Pre Med club, Volleyball club, and Friendship Bracelet club.


Dylan Wheatman

Friendship Bracelet club meets in the library to make bracelets and connect with new friends.

By Perrin Goulter

Clubs are one of the easiest, most fun ways to get involved in your school community. Immersing yourself in an activity or group of people participating in an activity you enjoy can truly make you feel like a part of a more niche community in a big school. But for those with passions not yet explored, there is only one option: creating a new club. 

This year, clubs have have expanded at LHS. Some established clubs have returned such as Latin club and Badminton club, two staples of club culture at LHS. But in contrast to these long standing clubs, multiple new clubs have been appearing around LHS.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays in the West Gym, you can find a group of students enjoying a sport that, up to this point, has only been offered to girls. This is none other than Volleyball club.

Founded by Sophomore Cameron Hardie, this club seeks to give young people an outlet for their love for volleyball.

“I have been really surprised a lot of people have come out for meetings and it has been a lot of fun so far,” Hardie said.

The group plans to follow the same formula that has been working thus far for the meetings to come.

“Right now we just plan on playing little games together and try to have some fun after school,” Hardie said. “As much as I would love to have something bigger, maybe a scrimmage with Free State at the end of the year, I’m not sure if that will be possible this year. Hopefully that can be accomplished by the time I’m a senior.”

Every new institution looks to its predecessors for some inspiration on how to make things run smoothly.

“I take a lot of inspiration from how Badminton Club does their meetings and other events,” Hardie said.

The club has started at an intense pace and Hardie is very pleased with the results.

“Meeting a bunch of new people who have shared my interest and enjoy playing volleyball has been my favorite part so far,” Hardie said. “I’ve played on club teams and have been helping manage girl’s teams for a while. Seeing an interest in the club in a way that I wasn’t expecting was really cool.”

If volleyball isn’t your thing, that’s quite alright. For the more intellectually inclined, you can head to Ms. Leuschens classroom to attend a meeting of the Pre Med Club. The group has three founders: Frances Parker, Allison Jakubauskus and Bella Ball. The club came about from a former connection between these partners.

“It first started out as just a research project between me, Allie, and Bella where we did Night at the Lab research for a project at KU,” Parker said. “We liked our group that we had and also just generally pursuing medical interests so we decided to start the club.”

Parker and her co-leaders lead the way for the educational future of the group.

“During the club I mostly just run the meetings where we discuss upcoming things we are working on,” Parker said. “We’re doing another Night at the Lab project this time as the whole club, and recently we’ve been discussing different specializations in the medical industry. It’s been pretty fun and everyone has been on a pretty equal level of leadership which is good.”

Pre Med club sees itself fitting into a larger piece of the LHS puzzle, aiming to uplift frequently overlooked voices.

“I think as the leaders of the club we feel very passionately about being women in STEM,” Parker said. “We definitely want this club to be accessible to everyone but make sure that those who are sometimes less represented in the medical industry have equal access to our club. The inaccessibilty of the medicine field is a pretty big problem right now and that’s something I’m pretty passionate about and some of the other leaders feel the same way. We just hope to give some equity to this space.”

For those who just need a friendly face and a community to help get away from the struggles of the day, you can head down to the library for the weekly meeting of Friendship Bracelet club. Ava George is the leader of this club and experienced some struggles in the formation process.

“I’ve had to contact a bunch of different people and it forced me to stay really organized with everything which was something I wasn’t great at before,” George said. “But, during the club itself we just try to make the experience something that people will enjoy and have fun being a part of.”

Despite some of these early setbacks things are running smoothly now.

“We have had a good amount of freshmen involved and that was kind of our goal. We really wanted to get freshmen involved in the space,” George said. “Seeing their growth is really great. We’ve only had three meetings so far but there has already been so much progress and it makes me really proud.”

George hopes to highlight some of their impressive skills in the broader Lawrence community.

“I think just teaching people how to make the bracelets and then eventually I want to branch out with fundraisers and some other events to get the school involved with our club,” George said. “I think we are also gonna try and do some work with craft fairs in Lawrence and showcase some of their talent as they grow and get our club out in the community.”