Change in Beta club officials bring changes, new goals


Karina Patel

Sponsors of Beta club English teacher Amanda Witt and Math teacher Lindsey Sneed discuss plans for the future of the club.

Karina Patel, Staff Writer

Oxford High School’s Beta Club has experienced a change in officers, goals, and service projects this school year and is hoping to increase the amount of volunteering in the community, especially within the school, after bringing these new changes.

Beta Club is a national organization that works to advance the ideals of academic achievement, leadership, and service among middle school and high school students. The OHS Beta Club is sponsored by English teacher Amanda Witt and Math teacher Lindsey Sneed.

“They have to work towards making our school and our community a better place, so it’s about leadership and service, “ Witt said. “Its teaching students to not just focus on being academically successful and to help others and being the kind of person that reaches out, the kind of person that notices need. ”

In the past, Beta Club members have been given service opportunities, but they volunteered as individuals instead of the Beta group as a whole. Sneed and Witt are hoping to change that this year, and they have already planned  some group volunteer projects to do this year.

“We want to make sure that Beta Club is focusing the majority of our efforts on the needs that take place inside of our school, so, we have recognized that all of our students come from a different place, and we want to make sure that they come to school with everything that they need,” said Sneed.

Reorganizing and maintaining the Oxford High School clothes closet that is for students that are in need of materials, such as clothes or textbooks, is going to be one of the Beta Club’s service projects this year that directly impacts the school. Beta Club also wants to make the clothes closet known to all students because many that can benefit from it may not know about the clothes closet.

“It’s for people that don’t have clothes or need a new coat or anything, any kind of materials. I would love it if we could get everybody on that,” senior Ann Fava Peters, Beta Club President, said. “We could all start donating and organizing the closet and get it more well known to others, so that they can bring their clothes here instead of going to Goodwill or just throwing them in the trash.”

While Beta is going to be helping the school with the clothes closet, Witt and Sneed also want to give back and volunteer within the community of Oxford.

“There are some other needs in the community, and as a club, we can work with More Than A Meal, we can work with Boys and Girls Club,”  Witt said. “We have around a 150 members, so there are a lot of different talents and needs.”

Beta Club also has officers that represent each grade, which is one aspect that is different from Oxford Middle School’s Beta Club. Many new and old members like having officers and are excited to see how it will be used this year.

“I felt like each class could be represented by people, and they could make sure their idea get heard and their wants and needs from Beta Club can be heard,” Peters said.

Witt and Sneed have Beta members elect officers so that there is an opportunity for the officers to develop leadership skills and take control of the club.

“Mrs. Sneed and I both take the approach of, as sponsors, it is not our club. It’s not ours, and it’s not ours to force a certain direction, but, as teachers and educators, to be supportive of the students and help them, “ Witt said. “If they need me to make a phone call as an adult to another adult to set up a More-Than-A-Meal, that’s where we can be helpful and to give them that adult support but not force any direction, it needs to be student directed. There’s encouragement there with the officers to give them that opportunity for leadership.”

Beta Club has done successful fundraising in the past with the candy grams that students could buy to give to friends, teachers, or any other faculty, but Witt and Sneed are hoping to revamp that fundraiser and make it more enjoyable for students and Beta Club members.

“We’d like to do the candy grams again, but instead of just doing the candy canes, we might branch out a little bit,” Sneed said.

Witt and Sneed are also hoping to introduce a new option for seniors concerning how they pick up their graduation robes. Seniors could choose to honor any educator in their lives at the robing ceremony by having that teacher presents their graduation robe to them. The teacher would not be told who is honoring them or why, but they would be invited to the ceremony to hear the student read their essay they wrote for that teacher.

“I have been at schools that have done it,” Witt said, “and it is such a nice event in the spring. People really come to enjoy it and look forward to it, so we are hoping to have good participation.”

Beta Club is going to have a busy year, and they are really hoping that all of their members achieve all of the goals that they want for the school and the community this year.

“In January, if you get an invitation, we’d encourage you to accept if you are interested in leadership and helping your community, “ Sneed said.