The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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New Hallway Policy at Whitman: Community Perspective

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June 17, 2024

New clubs debut at 2023 Clubs Night

As the eventful month of September closes, the Whitman bus loop overflows with vivid poster boards and intricate table displays as eager students gather to sign up for the plethora of clubs offered by their peers. Students from all grade levels peruse the maze of booths as ambitious club leaders seek out new members. 

Each year, the Whitman PTSA hosts Whitman Clubs Night, a school-wide event dedicated to involving the student body in the various student-run clubs. Each club can create and exhibit its poster board stands to advocate for participation, show off the club’s achievements and provide information on how to sign up. At this jam-packed event, students can increase their extracurricular involvement, discover their interests and find a community of people who share similar passions. 

In addition to being creative and unique, Whitman’s newest clubs provide a wide variety of activities and resources that have the potential to entertain and cultivate the interests of any Whitman student. 

The Trek Club

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As a spin-off of the former Whitman Hiking Club, the Trek Club aims to explore all the DMV has to offer. As they became disinterested in the same old trips to Downtown Bethesda, the club’s founders, juniors Katie Greenwald and Olivia Woitach, decided to take matters into their own hands. Apart from conducting the typical wilderness explorations of their ancestor club, the Trek Club will also explore urban locations of the local area. The club plan is to meet bi-weekly and go on unique excursions, from visiting eclectic museums to taking hiking off to scenic hiking trips. The Trek Club intends to discover the hidden gems of the local area and keep the Whitman student body connected to local perks.

 “We want to build communities,” Woitach said. “We have a goal of broadening our club members’ horizons and helping them really figure out what they’re passionate about. We want to create an opportunity for ourselves and others to explore.”

The Banned Book Club 

The Banned Book Club is not an average book club. After repeatedly hearing about the widespread banning of books from school curriculums in states such as Texas and Florida, junior Sofia Antonioli decided to investigate. She read many of these banned books herself, and this year she encourages others to do the same through the Banned Book Club. Book banning is not a new phenomenon — it has been happening for centuries — but to combat this recent spike, the Whitman junior hopes to introduce other Whitman students to the vital ideas and valuable experiences described in these books, she said. In her club, members will meet monthly to dissect a piece of banned literature. Participants will be encouraged to read these books and reflect on the diverse themes and perspectives that emerge. 

“Book banning is just a huge form of censorship, and it takes away our freedoms as students to read these books,” Antonioli said. “I hope to empower students to read these banned books because not a lot of people are as fortunate to be able to read them.”

The Community Arts Club

For the last two years, junior Maya Cohen has walked past the new building’s cement courtyard and couldn’t help but notice its uninviting atmosphere.

However, Cohen sees potential in the space. Through the Community Arts Club, she plans to transform the courtyard and other unappealing places around Whitman into colorful, vibrant locations for students to relax. Participants will band together to plan mural designs spanning a variety of mediums, such as mosaics and paint. With approval from administrators, they aim to bring designs to life and spruce up the bare walls of Whitman. The courtyard in Whitman’s old building is often overcrowded with students, so Cohen hopes to create an inviting outdoor space for students to hang out in. 

The Community Arts Club will also inspire students to embrace their passion for art and collaborate with their peers outside of the classroom. Cohen wants to share her admiration for public art with the rest of the student body.

“You see all the mundane brick and cement walls everywhere,” she said. “But [a mural’s] something permanent that’s unique that you’re not going to see anywhere else. Every mural is a little different.”

The Soccer Analysis Club

Since the age of five, freshman Teddy Dupree has been an avid soccer fan. From playing on the field to viewing the game from the comfort of his couch, soccer has brought him immense joy, he said. When arriving at Whitman, he knew he wanted to create a club of his own that suited his interests and the interests of others. He founded the Soccer Analysis Club to celebrate the “beautiful” game and unite passionate fans, he said. Whether it’s the English Premier League, the South American Football Confederation or any other soccer leagues, his club will meet every Friday and collectively watch a match. Members will jointly discuss the game’s tactics, dissecting aspects of the game such as player formation and playing styles. Dupree hopes to spread the happiness and communal energy that soccer evokes to the rest of the Whitman community, he said. 

“If you look into a crowded sports game, you can see all different kinds of people come together,” Dupree said. “And that’s what I hope to do with the club.” 

The Health and Fitness Club

When the treacherous months of quarantine finally ended, juniors Calvin Kim and Gabriel Lee found themselves struggling with their mental health, a phenomenon experienced by many teens at the time. In an attempt to climb out of this state of distress, they began working out during their freshman year. Throughout this endeavor, they found themselves spiraling down a social media rabbit hole where information was confusing, inaccurate and evasive. 

To prevent other Whitman students from enduring a similar plight, but still reap the benefits of bettering their physical and mental selves, they created the Health and Fitness Club. Once a month, Kim and Lee, alongside juniors Lachlan and Michael Halton, will lead educational presentations and discussions that inform club members of the many aspects of health and fitness, including nutrition, exercise and, most importantly, mental health. They hope to provide their club members with the trustworthy and valuable knowledge they have accumulated throughout their experience in the fitness world and lead productive conversations where club members can share their expertise about health. 

“Not only are we spreading information,” Lee said, “we’re also learning ourselves and allowing other people to spread their own knowledge about the community.” 

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About the Contributor
Colette Yehl
Colette Yehl, Feature Writer
Grade 11 Why did you join The B&W? I joined because I enjoy supplying my community with valuable and interesting information through my writing and learning more through my research. What is your favorite song? Heroes by David Bowie

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