By Fatima Naysa
Many students at NHP are involved in Seekers as they believe it provides a place for religious expression in the school environment. Seekers are religious clubs that highlight students' individual cultures and religious backgrounds. The Christian Student Association, Hindu Student Association, Muslim Student Association and Sikh Student Association are Seekers clubs currently at NHP. Some of these clubs have prepared specific events that they intend to host this year.
“Some students feel that these clubs are a good place to express their religious beliefs. However, not all religions have a designated Seekers club at NHP...”
“The MSA, Muslim Student Association, is a social club where students can come and meet other peers with similar beliefs as them. We hope to create unity between students of NHP and allow them a space to meet monthly,” MSA President Ayesha Rashid said.
According to officers in the club, MSA has a busy schedule of activities and gatherings planned for the year. Some include interfaith fundraising basketball tournaments, movie nights and campfire nights. The MSA will continue monthly meetings and presentations where everyone in the club can participate.
The SSA is currently not planning anything due to a lack of officers. However, an election will soon be held and they will begin planning for the year. The SSA usually hosts activities they believe students find engaging, such as Kahoots and Gimkits.
The CSA plans to teach lessons about the beliefs of Christianity while also providing discussions about faith and life. Their theme this year is “Community and Fellowship,” which they will use to plan activities and events for the year. The CSA plans to promote worship, praise and conversations about Christianity. Additionally, the officers of the club anticipate events including Interfaith, a Thanksgiving Potluck, a basketball tournament and game nights.
“I’m very privileged to become Co-President of Seekers, as I believe I struggle sometimes to follow in God’s footsteps. Being president is no easy task,” CSA President Nikson Alex said. “However, I’m given this incredible opportunity, and I want to be diligent and energetic when it comes to the commitment of being president. I hope to make a positive impact on not only those in Seekers, but everyone around me.”
HSA is excited to kick-start the year. Currently, they have not planned anything specific, but HSA adviser Ms. Tomkiw hopes to host a big event for the Hindu holiday season.
“We plan to continue regular meetings and big events after everything settles down,” HSA adviser Ms. Tomkiw said.
“I hope to have a Holi potluck since a Diwali potluck was not possible this year, and continue Interfaith with the other religious clubs," President Aakarsh Gupta said.
Some students feel these clubs are a good place to express their religious beliefs. However, not all religions have a designated Seekers club at NHP. Junior Sarah Munson tried starting the Jewish Student Association, but the club did not run.
“I was basically told that there wasn't enough of an interest a few years ago when something similar tried to start up,” Munson said. “I wanted to try and start it for next year so we could start fresh and be at the club fair in the beginning of the year, and I know that a bunch of clubs were being turned down this year due to availability and budget.”
Artwork by Shadia Zayer
While many feel that the Seekers club at NHP is representative of their beliefs, some feel underrepresented.
Munson expressed her belief that every culture and religion should be represented in some way at NHP.
“I think that even if there isn't a large population of specifically Jewish students at NHP, it's still important to have representation, as well as a space for both learning and sharing this vastly diverse culture/religion,” Munson said. “I think a JSA could help provide an understanding and appreciation for some of the holidays and breaks we get due to Jewish observances. A lot of people didn't know what Yom Kippur was when I asked them why we had off.”
The Seekers clubs prepare for religious events and activities that are soon to come this school year.