Behind the scenes: ASL Club

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Tristan Caudill

Freshmen Elle Rotter and Sami Eveland have a conversation during ASL club’s Friendsgiving meeting. The club had pizza and soda while chatting and playing games. “I enjoy visiting ASL club and talking to my friends,” Eveland said. “I’ve met some cool new people who are interested in ASL just like me.”

As you enter room 3314 on Thursday morning at 7:05 a.m., you could hear a pin drop in the silent room. It is an American Sign Language (ASL) Club meeting where hand gestures are the mode of communication, not voice.

Sophomore Hannah Lumpkins, the club vice president, gets students involved by offering events that bring the Deaf and hearing together.

“I started signing in seventh grade because I had some Deaf friends, and I didn’t have a way to communicate with them,” Lumpkins said. “Now, I want to use my leadership role as a way to help others learn how to communicate with other individuals.”

Sophomore and member Tara McGuire joined ASL Club because she wanted to practice the language more and interact with others who also know it. 

Illustration by Brooke Moss
Definitions of deaf and Deaf explain the difference between two similar words in the Deaf commuity.

“I really enjoy it, especially the food. I hope to be president of the club one day. I have met new friends in the club, and visiting the club helps me feel more connected with the students around me who take the same language,” McGuire said. 

Senior Caroline Bellido, a Deaf student, joined the club her senior year. She became president of the club and participates in every meeting, making sure everyone has a good time and enjoys teaching curious students ASL.

“Being a Deaf student can be difficult sometimes. For us, it’s difficult to hear depending on the situation. Being in a cafeteria sitting with hearing people is a huge challenge because it’s so loud and you can’t hear what the other person is saying,” Bellido said. “I feel that ASL club has connected Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students. For example, if a Deaf student and hearing student are in the same class, and they both know ASL, it’s really easy to communicate with one another. It’s really nice.”

I feel that ASL club has connected Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students. For example, if a Deaf student and hearing student are in the same class, and they both know ASL, it’s really easy to communicate with one another. It’s really nice,”

— senior Caroline Bellido

One of the main events of the club is Deaf coffee chats. They decided to do this because the meetings are early in the morning, and they wanted some coffee in their systems.

“The meetings are very casual. Normally, we drink coffee brought by Ms. Menchak and chill. We talk about our days and just have fun. It’s a good way to start your day, especially because you get to see your friends that you only get to see once a day,” Lumpkins said.

Having attended while in middle school, freshman Elle Rotter wanted to continue in high school to feel more involved in the community. 

“It’s a very welcoming group. Visiting the club helps you find your place. It’s helped me find my place. In high school, it helps you find where you want to be and helps you know what you want to do,” Rotter said. “The vibe that the club gives off is pretty awesome. We have positive club members and a positive teacher. We’re a community together.”