Let’s go clubbin’

From the newly formed Political Activism Club to Lettuce Club, there is something for everyone at Chan.

Sam Buisman (12) conducts the Political Activism club during options.

Grace Potenza

Sam Buisman (12) conducts the Political Activism club during options.


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Interested in photography? Shakespeare? Cooking? Animals? Is there not a club that suits your interests? It is very easy to start a club; all you need is a brilliant idea, an advisor, and a conversation with Chan’s Arts and Activities director Jim Swearingen.

As the Arts and Activities director of Chanhassen and Chaska High Schools, Swearingen gets to approve or deny any ideas for clubs.

“As long as it is a healthy, arguably educational activity, I approve,” Swearingen said.

According to Swearingen, in all of eight years that the school has been open, there has only been one club that got a no, which was boxing.

Swearingen is very open to new ideas, Chanhassen’s club list constantly changes as student interest varies.

Swearingen believes the best way to get in contact with him about a club is either to email him or stop by the front office to set up an appointment.

The presidents of the newly formed Political Activism club, Sam Buisman (12) and Elijah Rockhold (12), say the club creation process was “pretty easy” after speaking to Swearingen and AP government and politics teacher Carrie Lyman, who was the potential advisor.

Besides their main goal of “world domination,” Buisman and Rockhold wished to create a club to “educate members about politics in the United States and provide an environment in the club where students can discuss and share their opinions in a very safe, open way.”

Since their goals were mostly educational, it was not hard to get the Political Activism club approved. The presidents made sure to make a wise decision on an advisor, and ended up teaming with Carrie Lyman, because Buisman says she is “passionate about youth involvement in government.”

Lyman’s main role as the advisor for this club is sharing her room. Her involvement in the club is minimal. “The boys who created the club are very passionate about the topic and are very good at handling the club themselves,” Lyman said.

Lyman encourages students to ”follow their passion.”

“With the number of teachers and staff in this building, you (a student) will easily be able to find somebody who is going to be willing to help out or who shares that passion and is going to want to be a part of the club,” Lyman said.

Another popular club, the “Lettuce Club” is surprisingly very successful. Club leaders Jack Mahr (12) and Hailey Frye (12) both said they started the club because the school needed “a fun environment, somewhere that kids can go that they know they are gonna have a good time.”

Though this may not be purely educational, the Lettuce Club is somewhere for students to take a break from studying and all come together to eat lettuce and participate in fun activities.

“Our goals are to connect kids from different grades and different social cliques,” Mahr said, “and have them all enjoy something that none of them have ever done before.”

Mahr and Frye both add that a student doesn’t have to necessarily have to be part of the club to participate in the activities, but follow @chan_lettuce_club on twitter to get updates on when the activities are. If the Political Activism club sparks an interest, sign up on the flex time scheduler during options to see what it is all about.

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