The Theology and Social Justice Clubs: Creating Variety at RFH

by Alexandra

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Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School takes great pride in having a diverse group of students with many different interests. The variety of extracurricular clubs at RFH is one of the ways that the administration helps support this diverse student body. Students are encouraged to start clubs when there is interest; however, the creation of a club is not always an easy process.  Although it is a long procedure, many would say it is worth the wait as it helps create variety at RFH and better the community.  As of September 2011, two new clubs have been started at RFH with the help of advisors Mr. Beatty and Ms. Burke: the Theology Club and Social Justice Club.

The following are the Theology Club’s main purposes: looking at religions, their history and development, modern and social issues, conflicts in the world, religious influences, and world cultures. They pride themselves on having intellectual discussions and understanding different stereotypes and prejudices within our sheltered community. However, Mr. Beatty states that the club does not push any religion. The club is similar to a theology class in college. After an interview with Laura Courchesne, I learned that the club stemmed from last year’s AP Human Geography class with Mr. Beatty. It became clear there that many students were interested in religious discussions. Laura, along with Lillie Pentacost became the creators and current presidents of the Theology Club. Besides Mr. Beatty, advisors also include Ms. Borsuk.

The club meets one to two times a month, and at the first meeting, they had over twenty students. At the next meeting, they are taking candidates for officers. During this year, the club is also hoping to have some events, including speakers with a theology background and a theology movie night. Laura said she wishes for “the club to outlast her” as she is graduating this year and “hopes that people will get excited and join and that the club will create a community of scholars” and encourage students to pursue a theology minor or major.

The second new club of the year is the Social Justice Club. According to Ms. Burke, “the Social Justice Club is a club at RFH which is designed to raise awareness in the school community about global issues of social justice.”  Social justice is the idea of having a society or institution that creates equality, respects human rights, and has human dignity. Although this is a new club, many students and faculty are taking part in it. Advisors include Mrs. Deremiah, Ms. Burke, and Mr. Beatty. The officers are Abby Cooner (President), Ellie Halfacre (Vice President), Kristen Sullivan (Secretary), Kristen Lucas (Treasurer), and Elsa Stoff (Communications Secretary).

The Social Justice Club’s purpose is to create awareness in the RFH community and have fundraisers to contribute to charities. This also served as the motivation behind the club: to make RFH, a rather small community, aware of social justice issues in order to address them and make RFH students more conscious and informed members of a universal society. This club meets every Monday and the first meeting is always dedicated to addressing a social justice issue. The following meetings of that month entail discussing fundraisers to benefit this issue. Ms. Burke said that starting a club was rather easy as Abby Cooner had addressed Mr. Lanzalatto about this idea of a new club, and then he reached out to faculty interested in becoming advisors.

This follows the typical process for starting a club: finding advisors, creating a mission statement that entails the goals of the club, and being approved by approved by Mr. Lanzalatto and Mr. Alworth, as well as the Board of Education.  Ms. Burke hopes the club can apply in the next one to two years to the Board of Education to become a formal RFH club within the budget. She believes that this is important as it helps RFH students become well-informed, well-rounded, and aware members of a global community. The club is so far very popular as they have over 30 members, but

Ms. Burke would like to add, “anyone is welcome to join!” The club has had some successful events so far, such as the bake sale for One Heart Source, an AIDS Education Charity helping those in Africa, and a movie night to raise awareness about human trafficking by watching Taken. They also hope to hold an open-mike and poetry night in the spring as a fundraiser.

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School is continuing to care for its variety of students by creating extracurricular activities in the hopes that everyone can find something that interests them. The Theology and Social Justice Clubs are just two of the organizations in the RFH community looking for students to join.

My advice to you is this: become part of your school, join a club, and get excited!

For more information or if you’re thinking of joining, please contact Mr. Beatty for the Theology Club and Ms. Burke for the Social Justice Club.   

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