East Campus clubs allow for freshmen involvement

Jacob Clanton, Editor-in-Chief

Freshmen at Manhattan High typically struggle to get involved in clubs and activities. While they spend most of their time at East Campus, most of the school operates at West Campus. This often leaves the freshmen feeling left out. However, some clubs go down to East Campus to help the freshmen fit in.

Thespians and Student Council are the only two clubs at Manhattan High that hold meetings at East Campus. For Thespians, these meetings look very similar to meetings one might see at West Campus.

“We have bullet point things that the senior officers will come down and they’ll present,” Thespians president Emma Lansdowne, senior, said. “Then usually we play a theater game down there if we got some extra time just so that the kids can get to know each other and also get to know the senior officers a little bit as well.”

Though upperclassmen come for the meetings, much of the day-to-day parts of freshmen Thespians are left up to freshmen.

“We have two freshmen reps that are in charge of kind of running the meetings a little bit,” Lansdowne said. “The freshman reps are usually the ones that are in charge of trying to get all the messages across.”

Much like freshmen Thespians, there is a sense of autonomy for the freshman StuCo.

“They do a lot of their own things with out a whole lot of support,” student body president Lily Colburn, senior, said. “They’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re doing this great thing. And it’s for this or we already did this thing,’ and we had no idea that it was happening. It’s kind of theirs to control. It’s almost like the freshman class president is a student body president and that they’re the student body president for their entire school.”

Though they plan a lot of things throughout the school year, the biggest thing the freshmen plan is the freshmen dance.

“[The current senior class] Student Council didn’t start that,” Colburn said, “it was just a group of students, but since then, since that first year, freshman Student Council has completely done the dance. They find the chaperones, they find the decorations, they do everything.”

While they have a lot to do by themselves, it’s easy for freshmen to get involved in West Campus activities.

“The easiest way [to get involved with Thespians] would be to sign up for our main stage shows,” Lansdowne said, “either auditioning or signing up to do tech. Tech is a really great way to be involved if you don’t want to perform. We always need people in the tech area especially when it comes to ushers.”

Thanks to advisory time, freshmen can be bused up to West Campus for club meetings. However, this doesn’t always work great.

“[The freshmen] get to our meetings late because they happen during advisory and they’re bussed up here,” Colburn said. “A lot of times we start without them because we have a lot of stuff to do.”

Joining clubs in high school allows students to feel like they fit in.

“Thespians is just a giant family,” Lansdowne said. “The other thing that’s great about Thespians is you don’t have to perform to be a Thespian. You can be a techie, you can do costume stuff, you can do all kinds of things. It’s a place where you can belong.”

Though freshmen can feel excluded from Manhattan High at times, joining clubs such as these allow the students to get a glimpse at what life as a high schooler is like.

“I do think that we do a pretty good job of letting freshman control their own [campus], and treating them like the high schoolers that they are,” Colburn said. “Even though they’re a separate campus, they’re still like young adults who have their own ideas and own goals, and StuCo is pretty good about letting them follow those and kind of do what they want to do without having upperclassmen judge them.”