Club offers service leadership during pandemic

Revamped ‘Students in Action’ organization focuses on specific volunteering areas

By Sartaj Rajpal, Editor-in-Chief

The Students In Action service organization is attempting to grow its membership and create more opportunities to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re expanding and gaining the largest potential for service involvement throughout the school as possible,” junior Joe Shea, a club leadership member, said.

Individual club members have taken on a larger role in the organization this year.

“We set it up so that we have a leadership team,” senior Nicholas Schiller said. “There are two or three people for each service area. All the new people join as members of a group. It’s a little more decentralized, so we can have people take on more

This increase in accountability of each member comes with expectations.

“If you’re going to be in SIA, you have to contribute in some way, whether that is coming up with your own initiative or program or joining an existing team,” faculty adviser Sarah Cardenas said.

Student members say Cardenas and Clinton Hackenburg have been great supporters of the organization as the new SIA advisers.

“They’ve been really supportive and help talk to the other teachers and administration when needed,” senior Bryan Maruyama said.

One of SIA’s new initiatives is collecting food for people in need during the pandemic.

“I’m helping provide culturally relevant food to the Mission Neighborhood Center, which serves low-income seniors and families,” sophomore Julia Kearney said. “Usually San Francisco Food Bank and Marina Food Bank have helped provide groceries, but COVID-19 made that difficult, so my idea was to have bins where students can donate long-lasting foods. The donation boxes will be put outside the schools.”

Another new project involves teaching classes to middle schoolers.

“I’m on the environmental team,” Schiller said. “We’re setting up an after-school program to teach fourth through sixth graders about the environment.”

While the organization is still coming up with new ideas for service, some projects have been temporarily discontinued because students are unable to be on campus regularly.

“The pandemic really affected our ability to do things,” Schiller said. “The Eco Team couldn’t do a trash pick up, and One Less Hungry is shut down. There’s been a lot of challenges, but I think we’ve done a decent job adapting to it.”

Organization leaders say they are going to work to make volunteering as accessible as possible.

“I think SIA is making great strides to fulfill its goal of bringing service opportunities to the school community,” Shea said.