MAILING : P.O. Box 8, Los Olivos, CA 93441
On any given club night, you’ll find students dotted around Midland’s campus: a group collaborating on puzzles and eating brownies in our Head of School’s home, one gathered in our student commons to watch a documentary, another congregated in deep discussions about current events or planning an upcoming campus event, and that’s just to name a few.
Within student life at Midland, clubs play an awesome and important role. Shifting from traditional definitions of clubs, at Midland, a club can be one of two things: one, the fun activities that faculty, staff, and students offer during student free time, and two, student-founded and -led affinity and interest groups.
Thinking of that first definition, students are encouraged and have the freedom to create fun and engaging activities in their free time. For instance, each year, students lead a series of thematic fun activities, such as dances, movies (drive-in movie and taquería), coffee houses (talent shows), scavenger hunts, night hikes, board games nights, music performances, and Brain Bowls (trivia competitions among the classes), among many other half-holiday activities. This kind of student ownership (aside from being fun!) supports our students’ self-reliance and authentic leadership opportunities.
The faculty and staff do their part, too, knowing that sometimes what our students need in the middle of the week is just to take the evening off, congregate in someone’s living room, and relax with delicious baked goods. On nights like this, our faculty open their homes to students, provide baked goods, show films, do puzzles, and more. They also offer opportunities for off-campus adventures, which most often means taking trips to the greater Santa Barbara and Los Angeles areas to attend, music, theater, and circus performances; film festivals; museums; cultural presentations and lectures; and student diversity conferences on issues of inclusion, equity, and social justice.
Thinking to the second type of club at Midland — those student-founded and -led affinity and interest groups — the sky is the limit. If you don’t see your passion represented here, it’s easy to start a new club! You’ll even see that some clubs were started this year!
Interest clubs are open to everyone, while student-led affinity groups are limited to the participants who can speak from the “I” perspective as it relates to their identity and lived experience. Here is a small sampling of current offerings at Midland:
Clubs of both varieties meet during half-holidays (what we call our students’ free time), as well as during designated club nights, giving students ample time to connect with each other and with faculty each week.
While the enjoyment our students receive from clubs brings me joy, what I am always struck by is the way they express our students’ self-reliance, authentic leadership and care for one another and the community. By the time students graduate from Midland, they know and understand the importance of contributing to the community and leaving a place better than they found it, and they have, in part, their involvement in clubs to thank for it.
By José Juan Ibarra
Dean of Students
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