The Oxford Pocket Dictionary defines a forum as “a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.” This is what Shaker Forum is all about.
Have you always wanted to share your opinions and ideas in an organized setting but didn’t know how? Are you interested in national and world events? Well, then this is the club for you. Many of you may have never heard of Shaker Forum, a club within our high school. It is one of the smaller and more recently created clubs. It was also recently renamed, with the original name being Critical Issues in Health Club. Shaker Forum is a contemporary action and discussion group that has roots in volunteer work. This isn’t an ordinary club. We have various discussions about numerous topics every other Thursday in J111. My sister and I have been members of Shaker Forum for a few years. For the 2 years I have been a part of it, it has really helped me get my voice out about topics I feel strongly about. Everyone is welcome to bring forth their ideas about contemporary issues from animal rights to poverty. In past meetings, we have talked about body image and Photoshop in the media, the pressures of school and homework, fashion in the media, and we watched a movie about the happiest country in the world (it was Switzerland). In a recent meeting, we discussed animal cruelty and watched a documentary.
If discussion isn’t your thing, we also do activities, such as online polling, that pertain to whatever topic we are talking about at each meeting. Recently, we came up with a list of possible topics. Here are a few: animal rescue, violence in video games/movies, body image/Photoshop, consumerism, political/foreign issues, natural disaster relief, celebrity influence in the media, poverty, and school issues (extracurricular activities, homework etc…). Every meeting isn’t about a serious current topic, however. Whatever the members are interested in, we talk about it at least once during the school year.
One of the major aspects of Shaker Forum is volunteer work. We are going to be working on a year-long volunteering project, possibly with an animal shelter. Other ideas consisted of fundraising to buy basic necessities people need in countries around the world, or donating to organizations that provide to animals or provide other items to families to help them support themselves financially. We hope to complete a project this year. All are welcome to suggest a group or an idea for our volunteer project.
President Sara Allocco feels that Shaker Forum offers a unique opportunity to its members. “Shaker Forum offers its club members the opportunity to share ideas in such a way that they won’t feel judged and are able to offer their opinions and views in a welcoming environment. We encourage friendly, open discussions with people of different backgrounds and political views.” This is really what Shaker Forum is all about.
Shaker Forum is always looking for new members. If you have ideas or opinions about any topic at all, drop by J111 every other Thursday. We look forward to seeing you and hearing your ideas!!