Art Club: Officers Demonstrate Leadership Without Advisor


Kanako Yonashiro

After winter break, Photography teacher Britney Hagihara, the Art Club’s advisor, went on maternity leave. Although this has left the Art Club officers with a more demanding leadership role and responsibilities, this has in many ways allowed them to grow closer together.
“My biggest goal for this club is to make sure that everyone feels safe and happy because I want them to know that they can come to any of us if they feel uncomfortable or if they want to suggest prompts or new ideas,” said Art Club historian Maria Niebuhr.
One of the first issues that the officers had difficulty handling was finding a room for them to hold their meetings. What has made this especially inconvenient is the fact that the Art Club has a large number of members. Prior to Hagihara’s absence, the Art Club had to hold their meetings in two separate rooms.
“I thought ‘what the heck happened’ because I remember that when I first joined, there were only like 10 or 15 people. It was really small and now it is really huge which I am really happy about,” said Art Club president and senior Skye Hoopai.
Art Club members were free to choose to either attend meetings in Hagihara’s room or science teacher Duane Shikiya’s room. The Art Club vice president and senior Brandon Chan would lead the meeting in one room while Hoopai would lead the other.
“​​Actually, my vice president – that’s why I am so grateful for him and I would run the upstairs room and I would actually run back and forth just to check how both the rooms are doing,” said Hoopai.
Eventually, the officers managed to have General Arts teacher, Ms. Kretsinger as the temporary advisor for the club. However, this meant that the club had no other choice but to meet in a single room with smaller capacity. While the Art Club members and officers enjoy being able to connect with the now-combined membership of both classrooms, this led to some concerns to arise in regards to COVID-19.
“Well because there are a lot more people closer together and because of COVID I get a lot more concerned or nervous about it sometimes but that’s about it,” said Art Club member and senior Angelyn Plan.
Although the officers of the Art Club have found it most challenging to manage a larger group of people because of this new change, they also feel that they benefited from it. This not only allowed them to run meetings more easily, but it has also provided them an opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills.
“It is mainly the teamwork aspect of it because I know that in the real world, you’re going to have to work with people so this is actually a really great experience,” said Hoopai.
As for future plans for the club, besides continuing to provide fun activities for club members to participate in, Hoopai hopes to one day have the club collaborate on painting a mural somewhere on campus. For those who are interested in viewing pictures of the Art Club’s artwork, activities, or updates, visit the Art Club’s Instagram @mililanihs.artclub