Affinity clubs start organizing events, activities as winter approaches

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

December has arrived, and plans for fun holiday activities cascade down everyone’s to-do list. At Tualatin High School (TuHS), there are not only clubs that correlate to hobbies and interests, but also affinity groups that offer safe spaces for students. Affinity group representatives from the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán (MEChA), Pacific Islanders Club (PI Club) and the Muslim and Arab Society (MAS) shared past and upcoming activities they will host this December and approaching new year. 

“One thing we want to do is a posada (a potluck) [this December] where people bring different dishes from their cultures to have a barbecue almost,” MEChA vice president Aaliyah De La O stated.

De La O also voiced her family’s tradition on Christmas Eve. 

“Christmas is like the day before, and it’s on the 24th instead of the 25th, and usually our celebrations last all night,” she added. 

PI Club president Teejay Olomua mentioned that in November the club collaborated with other affinity clubs in an event called “Autumn Fest” which was specifically led by the Black Student Union (BSU). Autumn Fest was held on Nov. 17 and was an event where affinity clubs brought their cultures’ food and games for all students to enjoy. 

Olomua further stated, “[In December], we’re probably going to do some gifts or a little raffle for our club, just to show appreciation and love for our own club.” 

Additionally, Olomua shared that dancing is an important part of their group’s culture. 

“Our cultural dances are basically an expression of who we are as people, and dancing is just another way of showing our love for our community,” he explained. 

MAS president Awatif Alhawani stated that there are no holidays during the month of December for the group’s members, whose religion is Muslim, but next year they celebrate “Ramadan,” which is when they fast from sunrise to sunset. Some Arab students celebrate it as well. 

Alhawani also added, “We operate under a lunar calendar, and every year our holidays change and get closer and closer.” 

Alhawani mentioned that during November the group went on a field trip to a local mosque in Beaverton. She further explained what a mosque was, which is a place where Muslims go to worship. This December, they plan to organize another field trip. 

“We are planning on going to a private school that is a religious school, and it teaches the values of Islam and the history,” she stated. 

Overall, all three clubs are planning to host activities and traditional events where they will bond with their members in a joyous way during the month of December.