Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

TJ’s Clubs Have Logged In…

Posted 11/04/2020 by Nakya Castille

Graphic by. Nakya Castille

Thomas Jefferson High schools clubs meet the virtual world during COVID-19.

Everything transferred over to the virtual universe when COVID-19 struck the world. From town halls to meetings to school and now even some clubs, all of the functions of the Denver Public School District have been forced online. Thomas Jefferson High School is one of those schools in the Denver Public School District that now has to transfer some of their in-person clubs to the virtual world.

TJ is known for its numerous popular clubs. While there are several returning clubs like the Anime Club and 5280, the TJ community has also added some new additions to their collection of clubs. The newcomers include the Handcrafts Club hosted by Robin Morrissey and the Creative Writing Club hosted by Jennifer Stephenson-Steele. The Handcrafts Club is for knitting, crocheting, and any other sort of similar crafting activity. The Creative Writing Club is about writing guided by custom prompts to improve your writing skills.

Among all the clubs, each club must also face the biggest challenge of them all: getting used to doing everything online. Georgia Hartley, a junior and an editor for the TJ Journal, has her own opinion on how she runs the Sustainability Club.

So far, the hardest thing about doing our club virtually is the lack of connections we are making with each other. Typically, we are all gathered in a classroom discussing an issue we are passionate about and sharing our ideas with our peers. Being online can make it very hard to feel others’ passions and to make those powerful connections with each other,” she stated. Hartley is getting used to hosting her club, but there is no way to substitute for the interpersonal connections that take place when clubs meet in person. Hartley cannot speak for everyone, but many students can empathize with the feeling of isolation. Despite the negative aspects of virtual clubs, Hartley is able to run her club to the best of her ability while being online. Her biggest goal when running her club is to discover more about climate change policies and legislation and how students can make changes in these areas. 

“This year, I’m really excited to get our club involved in the policy side of climate action. While creating a more sustainable community is incredibly important, the heart of the climate crisis is the policies in place to control environmental actions. I’m hoping we all discover more about climate policy and legislation and how we as students can contribute to it in order to make the changes we want to see,stated Hartley in response to what she hopes the Sustainability Club will offer this year.

5280 is also joining in on the parade of fun. Run by seniors Ava Ward and Ivonne Hernandez, 5280 essentially works on creating a policy that can change our school’s current social injustices. Hernandez went on to say that 5280’s biggest downfall while being virtual is the lack of communication.

“The hardest thing [5280] will probably face is to interact with one another like in the previous years. Whether we need to meet up with an administrator or to interact with students and teammates as a whole, not being able to communicate face-to-face is the hardest struggle being virtual,” said Ivonne.

Like Hartley mentioned, the lack of communication that is needed for the club and team members to further understand and contribute to their roles is what makes doing virtual clubs so difficult. Ivonne has the same mindset as Georgia and other fellow club leaders. Nevertheless, there are good things that both Ava and Ivonne look forward to doing with 5280 this year. 

“I am excited about working with my teammates for one last year. We’ve worked together for some years now and I am confident that we will do just as wonderful as last year,” Ivonne commented, addressing what she is most excited about for 5280 during her last year of high school.

Regardless of the situation that is at hand right now, each club still does their duties, and club members continue to bring 110% of their effort to the table. COVID-19 cannot keep clubs from doing what they know best.