Diversifying the Melting Pot

A look into West High's cultural clubs

Photo+provided+by+K-POP+president

Photo provided by K-POP president

Adriana Apodaca, Staff Reporter

Our school is best known for its diversity, cultures and different backgrounds. We understand that each individual at our school is unique and different, so we have plenty of clubs on campus that embrace the multicultural society we live in, creating a fun and accepting environment.

Polynesian Club

Polynesian (Poly) club is one of many cultural dance clubs on campus. This community exposes a variety of traditions through the way they speak and dance. Their performances tell a story through Ote’a dancing, Sivas and Hakas. Their dance tells us what their ancestors went through and all the troubles and feelings they felt. However, this club does more than just bring culture; it’s a welcoming and safe environment for anyone who wants to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to dancing. Other than dance, they like to bond during their practices. Ariel Medina, Poly’s club president says, “Being in Poly helps you grow as a performer and as well as a person. It shapes the way you see traditional dances, and it widens the way you can express yourself. It helps you understand the culture.” She ensures a safe and comfortable environment. Poly performs during rallies and has club meetings after school.They also will have instances where they perform for parties. If you are looking to join a club that makes you feel comfortable with expressing yourself, join Polynesian club!

Asian Pacific Islander Club

Asian Pacific Islander club, also known as API, is also a club that opens their culture with the community. An important cultural aspect that they explore is with a dance called Tinikling. Tinikling is done with two bamboo sticks and dancers jump in and out of the sticks in a rhythmic pattern. Along with dance, API club participates in events. They celebrated the holiday Lunar New Year at school this year by giving out red envelopes with a lucky message. This club also is a great way to meet new friends. API does lots of activities in and out of school. In school they have lots of fun during their after school practice. They also participate in team bonding by going on boba trips where they are able to meet other members of API from Kimball and Tracy High. This club also helps the community by participating in the International Feast as a way to spread awareness for human sex trafficking.They also participated in Kilusan High School Picnic where they have competitions between different high schools. This event celebrates the Filipino culture. Vice President Ursula Nuñez says, “Our club is
unique, we focus on learning and showing off our culture on campus for others to see.” API is a great club for meeting new friends and taking on a new set of leadership skills.

Korean Pop Club

Korean Pop Club, or K-pop, opens the school up to Korean pop culture. This club draws attention by dancing to Korean music. The members bond through the songs they like. They like to do an activity called “random dance” in which they play different Korean songs and dance if they recognize it. Not only do they learn how to dance in this club, they have lots of fun. These workshops contribute to the closeness of the club. K-Pop likes to put the members in groups after they learn choreography to help each other perform comfortably. The club says, “Our club is unique because our members are diverse. Our message to anyone is that anyone can learn about a culture and express their fondness of the world”. This club will make you feel comfortable and welcome. If you have an appreciation for Korean music and culture, then join K-Pop.

M.E.Ch. A.
One of the biggest cultural clubs we have on campus is M.E.Ch.A, which stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán. They view themselves more as a family than a bunch of club members. M.E.Ch.A is very active on our campus as they participate in many activities and do as much community service they can. They perform in Tracy’s Mexican Independence Day
festival, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and the Festivals of Culture at the Grand Theater. They also like to share their Latino culture with the school by celebrating Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo during lunch where they perform with live music. This big family likes to plan events throughout the year such as M.E.Ch.A movie night, Posada, a Great America trip, and at the end of the year, their Carne Asada to celebrate their advisor Mr. Gomez. This club has a lot more in store. They perform in the rallies and have practice on Mondays. They like to give a lot of attention to the music and dance aspects of their culture, performing Folklorico and other types of Mexican genres for the rally. Pedro Casillas, M.E.Ch.A’s club president states, “What makes M.E.Ch.A unique is that we treat each other as if we were one big happy family. We welcome absolutely anyone to join our club whether you are Latino or not. Our club treats everyone with equality and kindness.” M.E.Ch.A has made a  big impact on our community and school by expressing themselves proudly and sharing their culture in such a confident, happy way.