The family in room 150

SHS students find a home in after-school anime club


Jordin Baker

Sophomore anime club student, Casey Walker-Arthur, works on a drawing during anime club after school on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

Walking into room 150 after school on a Tuesday or Thursday, you may come across a group of students gathering around talking to each other, drawing, writing and playing games.

SHS has several clubs that have been around for a long time that different groups of students tend to love to take part in. One of these clubs that has been around for almost 7 years, the anime club, is a smaller club that was formed by SHS graduate Morgan Edwards, who was the club leader, Kara Locke the co-captain and Christian White who managed outside funds, in October of 2011.

At that time, however, it was called the book club because there was no sponsor and, according to Edwards, there was no reason to have an anime club. When Mary Jane Jones, a former SHS librarian, began to sponsor the club, they started meeting in the library. The club started out as a way for these three friends to expand their friend group and to give other fans of anime a safe place to enjoy it without the worry about being bullied.

To put it short, we wanted to be a safe space without all the fancy words or names attached,” Edwards said.

He and the other co-founders, Locke and White, say that at the time of its creation, the anime club wasn’t very popular because anime wasn’t widespread yet. Over time though, they were able to gain more and more members.

“(The club) was kinda medium then it got small then it got a lot bigger this year,” Senior Hannah Sorrell said.

Eventually, as the club grew, it began to feel like a family to the members. These feelings of support and comfort have carried over to the present day club, as senior member Rebecca Perry says that her favorite part of the club is the family feeling it has.

“I like the family aspect of it, so we are all just like a big family and the seniors are like the big brothers and sisters,” Perry said.

Perry started attending the club after hearing about it through a friend during her freshman year. Now, four years later, Perry remains a member of the club.

Like Perry, many others have been longtime members of the club, Sorrell is the president of the club and vice-president, junior Logan Black have been members since they were freshman.

“There’s a few students that have been working on making t-shirts so we can have this full-on group of us showing off what we are,” Black said.

While working independently most of the time, the club does have a sponsor to supervise and help organize the group. Their sponsor, English teacher Rico Gonzalez, became the sponsor after being approached during his first few weeks working at SHS. He initially thought another teacher was sponsoring the club, but once asked he says he gladly accepted the offer.

“I had all of this stuff in the classroom and I like all of the things the anime club did,” Gonzalez said.

The anime club has been in many meeting places and this caused some differences in the what they can and can’t do. But now, the club holds meetings in Gonzalez’s room every Tuesday and Thursday after school until 4:30 p.m. According to Gonzalez, his room is a better fit compared to their last meeting place, which was one of the conference rooms, because now anime posters and decorations surround them at every meeting.

Although the anime club has been through many changes, the club still has some of the same points that have been evident since its creation. Some of these points are the family like feeling, the relaxed environment, and how they go about the meetings. However, the size of the group has been through ups and downs, but the members that are there today are the ones that make it a home away from home.