Club Rush Preview: Week 1

Images courtesy of 123RF, Confederate Colonel,, Healthy Living Center, Brandon Stanton, & Cardfight Vanguard.
Images courtesy of 123RF, Confederate Colonel,, Healthy Living Center, Brandon Stanton, & Cardfight Vanguard.

Club Rush is back, and while we will see familiar clubs such as Key Club and California Scholarship Federation, check out some of these new clubs for the first week. Club rush will last from August 31 to September 11.

Paws for Paws

President: Lauren Lu (10th grade)
Advisor: Ms. Dhala
Club Rush date: Tuesday, September 1

Paws for Paws was created to raise awareness of how frequent animal cruelty and mistreatment actually happens. While there is no unified national animal abuse reporting system, there were 1,880 cruelty cases reported in 2007 with many more going unreported.

“I wanted to have students grow a sense of desire to help animals, like they’re not doing it just for a club,” said president Lauren Lu.

Paws for Paws takes a new approach to animal rights advocacy. There was another Paws club that became inactive in 2013 due to financial and safety state regulations against club donations and direct interactions with animals.

“We plan to [spread awareness of] animal cruelty with posters and flyers around the school to inform students,” said Lu when asked how she would overcome the limitations that the old Paws club suffered from. “We will also make dog toys and beds for animals to use.”

It was very difficult for the club founders to get this club approved. “I spent so long trying to think of how this club would run,” said Lu. “It seemed that all our options for Paws were pointless, until I thought that we could still make this work by informing the public and making products for animals to use.”

Tentative requirements for active membership are six hours and three function points.

“We’re hoping to make Paws super fun!” stated Lu. “And not for members to feel obligated to earn hours but for the passion of helping animals and I really hope it’ll be a success.”

Think Smart!

President: Shannon Wu (12th grade)
Advisor: Mr. Tom
Club Rush date: Friday, September 11 (changed from September 4 due to it being a minimum day)

Think Smart! is a health club that aims to inform members how their health is impacted in many ways: including what they eat, how they interact with our environment, their mental health and thoughts, as well as multiple other smaller factors.

“I created this club because I realized that Keppel lacked an actual health club,” said senior Shannon Wu. “Then I realized that there was no reason I can’t start one, so here it is.”

The club is called Think Smart! because “engaging yourself in a healthy lifestyle is a smart thing to do,” said Wu, “If you are mentally and physically healthier, you’ll also have a happier life. We want our members to become role models and inspiration for living a healthy lifestyle and a happy life.” The exclamation mark is to show how enthusiastic the founding members of the club are and how much others will enjoy it, according to Wu. Mr. Tom found their ideas interesting and agreed to be their advisor despite not having any prior experience with clubs.

Some activities that Think Smart! will be doing throughout the year include cleaning the environment and raising money for club field trips. Wu added that she hopes to bring the club to a body museum.

In order to be an active member, students will have to attend a majority of the meetings, and engage in at least two club activities as well as two fundraisers.

“Please join Think Smart! because it will be a fun and educational experience,” said Wu. “You’ll also make unforgettable high school memories!”

Chinese Chess Club

President: Daniel Lu (11th grade)
Advisor: Dr. Ye
Club Rush date: Monday, August 31

Chinese Chess Club is a club where students will be able to learn and play the strategy board game, Xiangqi, also known as Chinese chess.

“I learned how to play Chinese chess in China in my seventh grade summer because there was nothing else to play with,” said Lu. “I started this club because I have an interest in expanding my knowledge and skill and an interest to share this game with other students.”

Throughout the school year, students will be learning and reviewing Chinese chess gameplay and strategies. Students will also be playing Chinese chess with other students to practice for fun.

Chinese chess is a very old and ancient game. References to this game date all the way back to the Warring States period. According to a first century BC text, Shuo Yuan, it was one of Lord Mengchang of Qi’s interests.

“Chinese chess is unknown to a lot of people,” said Lu. “Chinese chess and chess both are quiet and thought provoking board games. What makes Chinese chess unique is that it comes straight from Chinese culture and it would be nice to know more about the culture of the majority [ethnicity] of the school, Chinese people.”

In order to be an active member, students must attend 50% of meetings, as well as attend one fundraiser.

“Despite being an entirely new club, I hope that this year will be successful and fun,” concluded Lu.

Card Club

President: Brandon Lao (10th grade)
Advisor: Ms. Slater
Club Rush date: Monday, August 31

Card Club was created for members to learn about the culture of card games and play these games, such as Cardfight Vanguard, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering, and Force of Will. Other card games are welcomed as well.

“I wanted people to enjoy high school life and make new friends with others who share the same interests,” said sophomore Brandon Lao when asked why he created this club.

Members of Card Club will meet up in A136 on Wednesdays to play against each other. There will be both friendly matches, and if possible, the board will organize tournaments.

You are still able to join the club if you are interested, even without prior experience.

“I have been planning to create a small series of lessons to help people just starting out to play like pros,” said Lao.

When asked about the requirements on active membership, Lao stated, “We require you attend most club meetings and sooner or later, bring your own deck.”

Cardfight Vanguard, while not popularly known at Keppel,  was bestowed awards for the most excellent game in both Elementary School and General categories in a survey created by Interface in Design for the “Trading Card Game Award of 2012”. It also received honorable mentions under the Junior High School, High School, and Adult categories. Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering, and Force of Will also have seen worldwide professional play.

“Joining our club is a great way to meet new people and play a variety of card games,” said Lao.

History Club

President: Kevin Kuramoto (11th grade)
Advisor: Mr. Gillette
Club Rush date: Monday, August 31.

History Club was created with two goals in mind. Junior Eric Tam envisioned a club to help those struggling in their history courses and junior Kevin Kuramoto wanted a club to discuss philosophies and political ideologies.

“Our primary purpose is still to help people,” said Kuramoto. “But our secondary purpose is to help them learn more about the machinations of our world and to teach them to transcend our perpetual cycles of exploitation and suffering.”

History Club will generally be hosting meetings where people can receive tutoring for AP World History (WHAP), AP US History (APUSH), or the regular history courses, similar to the tutoring programs under Math Club and United Sciences.

As for the tutors’ qualifications, “people who took WHAP and got at least a B in the class and a 4 or 5 on the AP test would approximately be what we’re looking for,” said Kuramoto.

History is not the most popular subject at Keppel. In fact, AP U.S. History only has about 18 students taking the course this year.

Kuramoto understands why students do not favor history, even hating it himself in elementary school.

“I hope to get people to see [history] more as I do, as a guideline of how to guide society in the right direction,” said Kuramoto. “I will offer alternative perspectives to give some historical events and periods more nuance and will possibly do a few other things that I have in mind but aren’t fully fleshed out yet.”

In his closing statement, Kuramoto said, “anyone who joins the club may or may not be amused by what our secret ulterior motive is.”

Humans of Mark Keppel

President: Anthony Gabrie (11th grade)
Advisor: Mr. Gonzales
Club Rush date: Thursday, September 3rd

One of the new clubs this year is Humans of Mark Keppel, inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. Junior Anthony Gabrie created this club to allow the students and staff of Mark Keppel to gain a deeper understanding of each other.

“Since my freshmen year at Keppel, I’ve noticed that we lack a certain degree of cohesiveness at our school,” said Gabrie. “I believe that all individuals have a story to share that has influenced them to become who they are today. It is essential for these personal experiences to be shared in a healthy manner to inspire others, give each other support, and to show that these individuals are truly not alone.”

Throughout the year, Humans of Mark Keppel (HOMK) will be actively interviewing randomly selected individuals or those who would like to be interviewed. The dialogue from the interview as well as a picture of the individual will be posted on its Facebook page. HOMK’s goal is to post at least three interviews every week until the end of the school year.

“We encourage all participants to share openly, as their experience may have a drastic impact on the lives of their peers,” said Gabrie.

Here’s how the club works: The club’s members are divided into pairs of their choosing. Each pair is responsible for completing at least one interview every three weeks. In order to be an active member in Humans of Mark Keppel, club members must attend at least two-thirds of meetings and fundraisers as well as complete an interview by every deadline.

The club’s maximum capacity is 20 members and being a member is open to all grade levels; however, board member status is limited to juniors and seniors. Students interested in joining will write a small biography about themselves and explain why they should be in the club. According to Gabrie, the 20 member cap is set to avoid having too many students operating the page. It also encourages members to work their hardest and devote themselves, knowing that they were one of the chosen few.

Gabrie asks that students please follow their Facebook group, Humans of Mark Keppel, which should be up next week. Anyone with questions is free to message Gabrie.

MKHS Spoken Word

President: N/A
Advisor: Ms. Burkhart
Club Rush date: Tuesday, September 1st

MKHS Spoken Word is still figuring out its logistics and board, so please visit Ms. Burkhart tomorrow, 8/31, in A228 for more information about this club.


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