Club Directory: Culture and Politics

Photo by Rhea Dudani

ASIAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION (ASO)

What does your club do?

Asian Student Organization (ASO) is one of the biggest Asian clubs at Newton South. We aim to raise awareness of Asian Culture and bring more of the culture to our school. We hold many events such as a potluck dinner with SASA, Bubble Tea Sale, and the best, Asian Night.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Because this is known as the Asian club, a lot of Asian American students are involved in it, but everyone who would enjoy experiencing different cultures would be able to find interests in our club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best thing for me was being more involved, having fun with other people. My favorite event was Asian Night, of course. Asian Night is like a kind of talent show where people showcase what they have. We had a lot of singing, in Chinese, Korean, and English. We had different instruments. NSS and SASA always participate in Asian Night. We had magic, dancing groups, game shows, a raffle, and others. A lot of people came up to me after the show and said they had so much fun and really enjoyed it. We always have a lot of food after the show, so it was a great night.

CHRISTIANS IN ACTION (CIA)

What does your club do?

We have Bible studies, educate newcomers about Christianity, and try to impact the school to be more aware.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Any person who would like to learn more about Christianity or be with a Christian group.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part is learning and growing from the other members through their own experiences and knowledge of Christianity.

COMMUNIST CLUB

What does your club do?

Our club’s main purpose is to break communist stereotypes. We want to differentiate between different forms of communism, like Marxism versus Stalinism, and make sure that people know it doesn’t need to be authoritarian. We also try to facilitate discussion about communism and economics in general.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

The club isn’t only for communists– only a few of our members actually are– but anyone with an open mind who enjoys politics, debating, worker’s rights, or even Soviet puns is welcome.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Our club is still quite new, but there are many fun parts to it. Like any good communist party, we produce lots of fun and inspiring propaganda. Although we try to distance ourselves from draconian and terrible governments like the USSR and the CCP, we also don’t take ourselves too seriously. Communism jokes can be hysterical and we encourage and produce these. The communist club is a close knit environment and we welcome everyone, regardless of political beliefs.

CULTURE CLUB

What does your club do?

The club enhances school spirit and the overall feel of the school.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

The type of person it attracts is someone who wants to make South a more enjoyable and fun experience.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club in your experience?

The best part of the club has been unifying the school with events beyond just sports.

ISRAELI ALLIANCE

What does your club do?

In Israeli Alliance, we celebrate Israeli holidays, discuss current events in Israel, and eat Israeli food.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who loves Israel, or anyone who is interested in learning more about Israel should join Israeli Alliance.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part of Israeli Alliance is coming together with students of different races and religions to celebrate and discuss Israel.

JEWISH STUDENT UNION (JSU)

What does your club do?

I think that there is a common misconception that this is a club focused on religion and its influence and position in our lives and on a global scale, but it isn’t really that at all. What we do at Jewish Student Union (JSU), besides eat free pizza and ice cream every week, is bring together a group of people with varying backgrounds to understand culture and its importance through the chrysalis of our values.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who is eager to become more open-minded.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club in your experience?

Hearing different perspectives on similar ideas and becoming more appreciative of other people’s ideas and passions.

NEWTON TANZANIA COLLABORATIVE (NTC)

What does your club do?

Our club is focused on cultural exchange between Newton and two different villages in Tanzania. Cultural exchange is unique because instead of just fundraising, which we do occasionally to help send supplies with someone who is visiting Tanzania, we are more focused on sharing our different cultures and learning from each other. NTC actually stands for Newton Tanzania Collaborative and not Newton Tanzania Club, because our main goal is to understand and appreciate each other’s cultures. It is so interesting to broaden our horizons by learning about a lifestyle so different from ours. We have written letters to kids at the school in Kwala, and to the orphans at Zion Care in Arusha. Last year, we had a teacher from Tanzania named Dereck Ngimba come and shadow us at school, teach a class, and engage in different activities around Boston. We talked a lot with him about our different lifestyles. Newton Tanzania Club really helps us all learn to get out of our little bubble.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone interested in appreciating the similarities and differences between our lives and the lives of children and orphans living in Tanzania would enjoy this club. It helps put things into perspective. Whenever I think about having to do too much school work, I am able to stop myself because I remember how the orphans at Zion Care were ecstatic just to receive a few picture books to read when I visited them. Learning isn’t something to take for granted, and I know people say it all the time, but we really are so lucky to have the opportunities we do in Boston. Working with Newton Tanzania Collaborative makes that idea a reality, and not just something that your parents say to make you feel guilty. Also, anyone interested in bettering children’s lives would enjoy this club. Surprisingly, a lot of people in Newton go on trips to Tanzania.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

In my experience, the best part of being in this club was Dereck’s visit. He was so shocked by how our school system works so differently from the school that he works in. It was great to see him so excited, and to learn about a different kind of school system. It is one of my goals and dreams to bring some of the orphans from Zion care to Boston for a visit. I think it is really important to learn about how other people’s lives differ from our own, because that is the only way to begin making positive change in the world. By collaborating and sharing aspects and ideas from multiple cultures, everyone’s lives can be changed for the better.

SOUTH ASIAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION (SASA)

What does your club do?

SASA is the South Asian Student Organization, and we hope to spread awareness and excitement for South Asian culture.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Someone willing to engage in cultural immersion who wants to find a loving, caring community.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

My favorite part of the club every year is Holi, the festival of colors. We bring a ton of color, food, water, excitement, and it’s basically a massive party in the senior parking lot. It’s a ton of fun every year, and there always awesome pictures.

THEOLOGY CLUB

What does your club do?

We hold discussions based on controversial, theological topics (for example, innate good v. innate evil, morality), talk about ethics in the modern world, and this year we will try to hold some fundraisers to donate.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Any person who is interested in the study of religion and God and wants to explore morals and ethics.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part is seeing how people of different religions view a certain topic.

YOUNG CONSERVATIVES CLUB

What does your club do?

The Newton South Young Conservatives Club is a new forum aimed at contributing conservative views and values to the political conversation on-campus and to stimulate discussion and debate in an open, free, and respectful manner. The Young Conservatives Club will conduct school-wide straw polls, bring in speakers, have meaningful dialogue with people from across the political spectrum, and much more! We open a gateway for NSHS students and faculty to better understand the virtues of conservative thinking, and contribute to a more balanced political discourse on campus.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

All we ask is that students keep an open mind. Whether you’re a traditional Republican, a devoted Tea Partier, lean right on some issues, or are simply undecided and willing to learn, you are welcome to join us for some meaningful conservative discussion, advocacy, and activism. Essentially, even if you are not conservative but is open to hearing new ideas via substantive discussion, you are welcome to join us.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Founding and being part of the Newton South Young Conservatives Club has made me feel much more comfortable sharing my political points of view at school, and in other parts of my life. It has also made me open to listening to others, and addressing common stereotypes young people may have about conservatives. It is truly been a pleasure for me to have a group where I can feel comfortable sharing my opinion, while also being able to demonstrate activism throughout school.

For information about when and where all of these clubs meet, click here.

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