Update On BR Clubs
BR Medsci and HOSA is a club meant for students who are interested in the health science/medical field. I talked to Karolina, who is one of the co-presidents of the club and she said, “HOSA Canada is a very large career and technical non-profit organization, specifically dedicated to preparing students for careers in this health science career cluster. The purpose of this club is to empower the members, to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration and also hands on learning.” Medci is similar to HOSA, as they both focus on health sciences, however, Medsci is accessible to everyone and is an in-school activity, whereas HOSA requires members to pay to participate in the conferences. Since September, HOSA members have been studying for their conferences, FLC which occurred in December and SLC which will happen in May. The members work with their trainers and learn the content they have been given by HOSA Canada. Medsci members have been working on their plans for Medsci Week which will take place in early June. Co-president Rachel told me more about Medsci Week and said, “members of our club are going to present inquiry projects to each other in the form of a pre-recorded video or a live presentation on Teams during the week of. In terms of the projects, students will be working in groups or individually to create a passion project based on their interest in health care…We are also going to have guest speakers, like health care professionals, students in medical school and past HOSA or Medsci alumni, who will talk about their experiences and the world of medicine, and their journey.” The students have been busy planning this great event and we are all excited to see it come together. For HOSA, since the meetings and conferences are all online, the co-presidents have noticed a decline in students’ motivation so they have been trying to boost morale and encourage participation from members. For Medsci, they had to make Medsci Week completely virtual which was a challenge but the leaders worked to make it fun and interactive.
School Council is one of BR’s most well-known clubs as they organize many different events but it is still important to hear what they are doing. I first asked the co-presidents what they think the school council is about in their own words. Co-president, Hana Rehman said that it “is a group of students that work together to create the link between admin, parents, students, and teachers. And our main goal is just to represent the student voice, but also to connect everybody, and make everyone feel like they are included in our school community.”
School Council’s most famous events like dances and carnations were not able to take place this year but they were able to still connect with students. In school, they had cookie deliveries for special days, Tim Hortons gift card giveaways, and various spirit days/weeks. They focused a lot of their attention on elevating their Instagram as that was the main way of reaching the student body. They had Tuesday Takeovers and Talent Thursdays so that students could be involved, and they would repost and bring the spotlight to other clubs that were doing great things around our school! Additionally, they hosted a mental health initiative to help students destress, called ‘BR Starts Fresh’. Co-president Faiq Farooq shares that some of the challenges with COVID and online school: “I would say like up to two thirds of our council was actually new, rookie council… so the first bit was sort of integrating them in… the second part was effectively just brainstorming.” Hana also added saying, “And then the other thing is just coming up with ideas. Like every year, we’ve followed the same schedule, you know… and this year just sitting down and being like okay, how do we connect with students without seeing them?” They followed a very strict schedule with the events that they hosted, and this year they had to improvise to still engage with the student body and bring some cheer.
I.C.E., also known as Innovation Creativity Entrepreneurship, is a club that creates positive change while encouraging students to come up with innovative solutions. The co-president Tam Mai, told me that to create this change, they have team discussions, guest speakers, and then with that knowledge, the group can “work on projects which develop the actual life skills.” I.C.E. has been very busy since the beginning of September, with their first campaign which ran from October to November regarding the proper disposal of non-reusable masks. To increase awareness, they had many instagram posts and videos, and they also distributed mask cutters to the entire school. After that, Tam told me that they, “just had these meetings [where we had] discussions. We talked about the processes of having creative ideas. We talked a lot about innovation.” In December, the club ran their Sustainability Campaign where they posted on their Instagram account about the effects of our actions and the importance of sustainability.
To start the New Year, they ran their plastic pollution initiatives where they provided crucial information and held instagram contests where participants could win a $25 gift card to a small business in Milton. This campaign ran to the beginning of February. For I.C.E., Covid restrictions have not affected them too much. The co-presidents however did receive some feedback about how many members felt like they were not able to interact with the students as much which was difficult. Tam told me that to combat this issue, “every now and then, we always do these team building activities and like competitions, so it’s actually kind of fun!” She also told me that it affects the initiatives they want to do because they all have to be virtual. “I know for the plastic pollution initiative, we really wanted to have a fundraiser, but it was during lockdown. So it’s best not to manage any sort of money, especially since it’s a financially difficult time.” If you are willing to be a dedicated member, then you can join by just messaging the I.C.E. instagram page.
BRCSS D.O.T. is one of Bishop Reding’s newest clubs, this year being its first year running. I asked their co-president, Akanksha Sharma about the club and she told me, “it’s a club that has two main goals. So the first goal is to provide a platform where students can advocate for like health care issues or basically any queue that’s prevalent to our society. Today a lot of the issues we focus on are like current issues going on in the world right now and then the second cause is to provide a platform where students can connect to the life and health science field.” Since launching in October, the first thing they did was attend a med school symposium in November. They also had a fundraiser that ran in November and December for Covid relief. Akanksha told me that “they did a virtual escape room. It was tons of fun. We raised a lot of money that we donated to World Vision Canada, which is a nonprofit that donates to covid relief.” In January, the club had two webinars with International Med Students and also a university panel with BR alumni who are in health science programs in February. Since this was their first year running, D.O.T.
was unable to experience what running a club during normal times, but when they first started to plan it, the co-presidents had a vision of being, “able to interact with students and our fellow peers ‘cause a big part of this club is like being able to make friendships, just share a passion with other people based on like our passion for science.” The club has 104 members and the co-presidents have had to figure out ways to make meetings interactive even though they are not able to be physically present with the group. If you would like to join BRCSS D.O.T., stay tuned for next year’s registration process.
Platypi kinetics is a club that has been running at Bishop Reding for 3 years now and it is a VEX Robotics team. I talked to Shrini, who is a member of the team and he told me that they, “work on small program/design-related projects. Our long term goal is to create an image recognition robot that can pick up an object autonomously.” It all sounded very fascinating to me and I wanted to know what they have been working on so far since the beginning of the school year. Shrini told me that, “this year the programming team has worked on image rendering and processing, and the design team has worked on building a basic chassis for the robot.” Corona hindered them from working on the robot since they could not meet up, but they still wanted to work and be productive. The team started to use Discord so that they could communicate. He said, “we have 2 seperate teams where programmers work on the programming aspect and design team creates a blueprint for krishna to build the robot from home.” It is inspiring to see how a club that usually needs it’s members there in-person, was still able to work around it to pursue their passion. They are currently not accepting new members, however in the future this may change.
Eco team is a club for students who are passionate about the environment and ways we all can help it. The students work together on various projects to spread awareness about environmental issues and encourage the rest of the school to think about how their actions affect the environment. The Eco team has been very busy since the beginning of September. They were posting regularly on their instagram and have launched a couple of campaigns. One of them was the Eco Contest where they got students to send in images of them performing eco friendly actions and were put into a raffle to win a $50 gift card. They also had their National Sweater Day, encouraging students to lower their thermostat to tackle global warming. They show the students how they can make small changes to their lives which can help the entire planet. Covid and online school have made it tough for the Eco team to reach the students and do some physical campaigns, however they have managed by posting more on their Instagram, hoping that some of the content they post resonates with the student body.
Bishop Reding STEM is a club meant to “ignite passion for S.T.E.M. education in elementary and high school students”. A student member shares that one of their main objectives is “female empowerment” because they “recognize the gap between male and female involvement in S.T.E.M.”
I had asked them what they had been working on since the beginning of the year and they told me that they have “been hosting HTML and CSS website coding workshops to help students gain these essential skills that will help them in any field,” and that they are “launching a website to fuel and ignite the passion of elementary and high school students in S.T.E.M.”
It all sounded very interesting and I was curious to find out how they were managing under these unprecedented circumstances. The student member told me that due to online school, they were able to create other opportunities like their website, which will have activity videos made by the team and will cover a wide variety of topics. S.T.E.M. is not accepting new members until the next school year.
leaders in black
LIBs stand for Leaders In Black and they are the grade 12 leadership club. The LIBs help around the school for a variety of events and they are there to support BR students with whatever the need. When I talked to a member, they said to me that they, “work together on many different types of activities such as BR kindness week to get students involved with the school community.” To get students ready and prepared for this very different school year, they made videos to inform students about covid-19 social distancing rules, ways to succeed in your classes, uniform policy, and more. The LIBs also participated in the Christmas assembly and the Liturgies. The member I spoke to also said they, “organized a teacher appreciation event where we wrote letters and other positive messages to the teachers for all their hard work.” For the LIB’s they have had to make some changes to the events they usually do since everything is online like sending kindness messages, since those are usually posted on people’s lockers. To continue their kindness week, they made regular posts on their instagram to cheer people up also created a google form where people could anonymously send kind messages. The LIB’s have always been a role model for the school so it is great to see them still going strong despite the challenges with everything being virtual. Look out for future LIB events such as the annual Murder Mystery Night! LIB is currently not accepting any new members.
Model United Nations
Model U.N. is a way for students to participate in lively discussion about world issues and see how it is like for UN delegates. I talked to a member of the club who told me, “Activists and advocates especially can explore their ideas for making a difference in the world! Students prepare to attend mock UN conferences during club meetings through debate and lessons conducted by the student leaders.” It is a great way for students who want their voice heard or are planning on going into a similar career path to be involved and get a glimpse of what that world is like. The member also spoke about what students get out of this, which is, “greater awareness of current global problems, problem-solving skills, and helps students become more confident in public speaking and interpersonal skills. Each conference is an irreplaceable experience, this is a club that develops lifelong skills while also being really fun!” Since September, members have been preparing for their conferences and one occurred during the end of February. The club meetings and conferences are all online due to covid restrictions. The member informed me that for the conferences they, “have found them slightly easier to coordinate, without the need for travel accommodations associated with in-person conferences.” They are hopeful however, for in-person conferences next year.
Younity is a club for grade 11 students who want to help the grade 9’s transition from middle school to high school as smoothly as possible. They try to create an environment that is welcoming and comforting for the grade 9’s so they do not feel too burdened from the change. Since September, Younity members have been working hard to accomplish this, from posting motivational posters around the school, to giving the grade 9’s tours of the entire school. They have also done a couple of Teams calls with the grade 9’s to see how they are doing with their classes. One of their February initiatives included making some Valentine’s cards which they emailed to all of the grade 9’s. Unfortunately, online school has made it incredibly difficult for the Younity members to bond with the grade 9’s and help them as much as they could. The grade 9’s are not as able to reach out to a Younity member as they were before however, the club has made changes to be as helpful as they can to the grade 9’s who are experiencing a very different grade 9 than most of us have. Younity will be accepting new members for the next school year so grade 10’s this year will be able to apply soon.
The Royal Register
The Royal Register is Bishop Reding’s one and only newspaper team. The members report on a variety of topics ranging from world issues, to school events, to opinion pieces. They also share videos and art pieces created by students at BR. The club regularly posts these onto their website but now, they are also publishing them in issues (like this one!) that will published less frequently.
The new online learning and COVID restrictions have not affected the club greatly as others, since members usually work independently on their articles. It has, however, made meetings and brainstorming sessions less interactive and there are less school events to report on. The Royal Register is still committed to reporting on the news and informing BR students of events happening at school and in the world. Additionally they have increased their social media presence by posting more on their Instagram to make it more interactive. The Royal Register is open to new members, DM @theroyalregisterbr on Instagram for more information.
Take advantage of the opportunities to get involved Royals!