Cliques or Clubs?
CHS students from Senate, Carmel Café reveal organizations at CHS are more of friend groups than cliques
Hannah Radde, Chief Operating Officer of the Carmel Café and Market and senior, said the interest in business and DECA is what primarily brings employees together, besides working at the café and having the same goals.
Radde said, “(The Carmel Café is) really an amazing group of people because we have such a common goal and everyone is so happy and puts in so much effort to achieve that goal. So we do spend a lot of time together and it’s amazing to bond with those same people with the same goals.”
This common interest factor is also seen in Senate, as senator and sophomore Nina Metaxas said everyone in Senate shares similar personalities and goals that they collectively work toward.
Metaxas said, “I think we all share a bond over wanting to make (CHS) a better place and wanting to help out people in the community for Care to Share and just the general passion for making the community better.”
Those feelings of belonging were confirmed in a 2014 study conducted by Daniel McFarland, professor of sociology and organizational behavior at Stanford University, which found that students seek out similarly-minded students in larger schools which offer more courses and extracurriculars and form cliques.
Because of its large size, CHS boasts over 200 clubs, with most of them being student-interest clubs. All of these clubs offer a means for students with similar interests, like DECA and Senate, to come together with others who share the same interest and become closer through and while organizations at this school are not exclusive, according to assistant principal Brittany Wiseman, they do tend to attract students with similar motivations.
Wiseman, who is in charge of the clubs here, said these spaces for students with common interests allow them to meet people who they click better with.
Wiseman said, “I think whenever you have students with similar interests, it’s easier for them to start those conversations… (People) like talking about what they’re interested in, so people are going to want to find those people and have those types of conversations.”
Even though groups such as the Carmel Café and Senate are smaller than others and bond over shared interests, members said they still strive for an inclusive and friendly environment.
Café workers Delaney Tejeck, Natalie Johnson, Oti Ogbeide and Hannah Radde, Chief Operating Officer of the Carmel Café and Market talk to each other in the Carmel Café. The café workers have a good sense of communication and teamwork as they spend a lot of time training and working. Photo by Shraddha Ramnath
On the environment of Senate, Metaxes said, “It’s kind of just a big family and I love being a part of that… we all just love each other and take care of each other and it’s a huge family environment.”
Metaxas said she’s close to others on Senate regardless of grade differences and said Senate really tries to make sure newcomers to Senate feel included.
“I would not say Senate’s a clique at all. We’re all very inviting, and encouraging people to run and be a part of Senate. With newcomers to Senate, we always try to have bonding events in the summer to make sure they’re close with us before the school year starts. We’re all very close” Metaxas said.
Radde also said the Carmel Café is not an exclusive clique and said the café welcomes everyone. Radde said she tries to plan events for employees to get closer to one another and said the group of employees was more like a family than anything else.
“We have always done bonding events, but this year we have gone to kind of try and plan more… You know we do always have fun working, but it’s nice to kind of take the drink-making out of it so we can really get to know each other… The café is really a family and everyone in there because we all work so hard towards the same goal,” Radde said.
Both Radde and Metaxas said while people in their respective organizations play an important role in their lives, their main friend groups are outside of the Carmel Café and Senate.
Metaxas said she’s made some very good friends through Senate and that they’re very involved in each other’s lives, but that her main friend group isn’t in Senate, which is also important in a large school.
Radde also said while she spends lots of time with café employees, her best friends are not involved with the café. Radde said she doesn’t get to see her main friend group as much, but they still find ways to spend time with each other.
Radde said, “The people I would consider my best friends, they’re not involved in DECA or the café, so I do have that friend group outside.”
These organizations allow individuals with similar interests to come together and become friends with others they might not have met otherwise and get to know them. Organizations such as Senate and the Carmel Café and Market serve as ways for these people to find one another, but rather than being exclusive, create environments where people can bond with peers.
Radde said, “It’s really amazing to kind of get to know these people. I have gained so many friends out of it, and just having a DECA family, and the people you see, it’s pretty amazing.”
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