On Friday, March 30, MVHS Spanish Honor Society members and officers trickled into the Lynbrook HS library. They gathered for the annual interdistrict meeting, which brought together clubs from Cupertino HS, LHS and MVHS.
Organized by the LHS club officers, the event was last held in 2016.
“We wanted to continue this year because it was really fun to integrate our school with MVHS, and [Cupertino HS],” LHS co-president senior Aurelia Yang said. “It was great to see how other schools do things and to get new ideas.”
The LHS students were able to contact MVHS SHH through their advisor, and they quickly agreed to the meeting.
“It’s a great way for people at our school to reach out other students in other schools,” SHH president Arjun Subramonian said.
Although only two non-officer members attended the meeting, Subramonian’s fellow officers plan to promote the event more next year. While the club has had a steady presence on campus in the past, the graduation of many officers in 2017 left the club struggling to survive. Putting on events like these in the community and encouraging members to go is part of their strategy to strengthen their membership base.
“We just need an opportunity to reach out,” Subramonian said. “Just getting beyond on the confines of the school is part of the rebuilding process.”
For those who did show up, like junior Gahan Lahiri, the allure of an officer position in SHH was the main draw. But Lahiri also has a passion for learning languages that first drew him to the club. A frequent traveler, he and his family compete to see who can learn the most words and phrases in the native tongue of the country they’re in.
“Most [native speakers] laughed because my accent was terrible, but they understand what I’m trying to say,” Lahiri said. “I knew like I wasn’t doing quite right, but the fact that I was able to get my point across in a language that I didn’t know was really fun.”
Spanish is unique since it is the first language that Lahiri has learned in a formal setting. He finds that the conversational pace of SHH meetings help him improve his Spanish, not unlike his adventures into foreign tongues while abroad.
In order to give more MVHS students access to this space for improvement and growth, Subramonian and the other SHH officers want to expand the club outside of the confines of MVHS through events like the inter district meeting.
“We just need more experience in the Hispanic culture,” Subramonian said.
The club also plans to expand its presence within the school, through selling pan dulce at fundraisers after school and participating in culture night. SHH also intends on holding more interclub events; after a successful Franish, an event where SHH and French Honor Society hold a joint meeting. Although the club has been exclusively for students taking Spanish at MVHS in the past, they plan to expand membership by recruiting students taking other languages as well.
“We are spreading the Spanish culture to a lot more students taking Spanish [class],” Subramonian said. “We want to expand beyond those students.”