Join the Club

A spotlight on one of Westminster’s clubs

Do you want to camp out in the Ozarks? Interested in playing board games with senior citizens? Always wanted to help out with Spirit Week? With over 20 different clubs that meet regularly and continually welcome new members, Westminster’s Clubs are appealing to a variety of student interests. One of these many groups is the Sign Language Club, where members can enjoy learning the motions for their favorite song lyrics or how to spell their names.

The Sign Language Club starts with a different topic each meeting.

“I try to find something that is applicable and would be used in a normal conversation,” said Alyssa Despotis, President of the club.

Sometimes, she incorporates words associated with an upcoming holiday into her plan for the day.

Despotis began learning the language four years ago with one of her friends. She saw the value of a club where students could practice signing together.

“God calls us into fellowship with people from all walks of life, and I think people will be able to better communicate with those who are deaf if they know a little bit about the deaf culture and American Sign Language,” said Despotis.

Though she is not fluent in the language, she is able to roughly communicate with people who are deaf by applying the skills she has learned.

“I have met a few deaf people over the years and I think they appreciate the fact that someone is learning their language,” said Despotis.

Leading this club allows Despotis to continue to keep her sign skills polished.

“I love being able to convey my thoughts and emotions through my hands instead of my voice,” said Despotis.

Students attending Sign Language Club come from all grade levels.

“I love the fun environment created to learn something new,” said Haley Counts, sophomore, who joined with her friends.

“I like how a person who is a beginner is able to start learning from scratch,” said Hannah Haguewood, junior.

Despotis enjoys everyone’s enthusiasm for trying a new mode of communication.

As seen with the Sign Language Club, participating in any club allows students to learn new skills and information as well as broaden their areas of interest. Becoming involved in clubs provides students with the opportunity to make connections with more students outside of the normal classroom setting and make new friends they might not have met otherwise.