O’Connor bounces back with culture club


Photo by Gabriel de Souza

At the first culture club event, students were able to participate in culture-building games.

Gabriel de Souza, Editor-in-Chief

After enduring two years of restrictions, cancellations, and postponements, the OHS community has attempted to bounce back; yet the decline in student involvement, overall culture, and school spirit has proven difficult to curb.

With memories of the school’s tremendous former spirit not forgotten, school leaders have established a new culture club where invited student leaders are able to share ideas and perspectives on the issue.

“The main purpose behind the culture club was to bring unity within the school. We have a lot of diversity in the sense of everybody kind of being their own team or club—[but] not uniting and supporting each other. The idea is to bring the culture as one and bring culture back onto this campus,” said Lauren Fetkenhier, Interior Design teacher and STUGO advisor.

With other staff members, Fetkenhier planned a day-long event with two student leaders from each sport, club, or other school group.“Mr. Baumgartner, Mr. Bolus, and myself did a lot of pre-planning. We brought in a guest speaker to go over what [culture club] was about and start engaging the ideas,” Fetkenhier said. “We took the ideas that we thought would be most beneficial and had the kids work with those ideas after the guest speaker left.”

Many students are optimistic about the possibilities that the culture club could bring to the school.

“It looks really good on paper so I hope that all of us can actually bring it to life and make it more than what we imagined. Culture club is giving us the opportunity to make this [school] perfect,” said Tala Shammas, junior. “Perfect is a strong word to achieve, but I think with all the great minds in [the culture club] we can get to that point.”

Despite the optimism, the event still faced criticisms, with many doubting whether the productivity of the day-long event was worth over 100 students losing such valuable class time.

“I think we could have lost the speaker at the beginning and just made it an hour-long [event] and it would have been fine,” said Davis Horn, senior. “To do six hours of this [event] and come up with five ideas to improve the school was just a waste of everyone’s time. I appreciate what the school’s trying to do, what admin is trying to do, but it could have been a lot more efficient.”

Although there were two representatives from each school organization, some students felt as if that was not enough.

“All of us were selected to be the leaders of our campus, to show our opinions, and to make the school a better place. Even though there was only a hundred of us, I didn’t feel like that was enough people to get the whole idea of O’Connor in one room. I feel like we could have done so much more with so many more people,” Shammas said.

Change is already being felt as the culture club’s newly created Instagram page has begun spreading news from each organization on campus.

“The kids created a new Instagram page…so people know more about clubs and when [school groups] are doing fundraiser nights and things like that to help us support each other. I think even something that small helps, plus I think more kids, now that [the Instagram page] is out there, are going to more [school events],” Fetkenhier said.

With countless clubs, sports, and organizations on campus, some find that students on campus are divided. However, the culture club aims to unify students and bring back spirit.

“The overall [goal] is to get the Eagles [from] all over the place, to come into one nest because that’s what we are. O’Connor is a nest and I feel like, right now, there’s a couple of different nests,” Shammas said.