Club Beat

Bird’s Aren’t Real, FCA, Jesus Club, Students For A Better Community, Book Club, and Chess Club


One of the many fliers Oksner printed out to inform AGHS about the beliefs of the Birds Aren’t Real Club.


Birds Aren’t Real is a newly established club this year on AGHS’s campus. It was started by current club president Sean Oksner (‘26). 

“Around a year ago, I was just online and I stumbled upon this website and it really spoke to me,” Oksner said. 

Oksner is referencing one of many websites that promote a conspiracy theory that birds aren’t real. The phenomenon is widespread enough to where there are several websites to stumble upon on this topic. The theory commonly follows a narrative that birds are not actually animals, but instead government drones used to spy on citizens. 

“It just made a lot of sense once you like, do the research,” Oksner said. “I was just sort of enlightened at that point,” 

Oksner created the club to educate his fellow students about this phenomenon he found concerning and unrecognized. 

“I realized that I had to start doing my part and telling people about it,” Oksner said, “I could do that by starting a club on campus so that like-minded activists could sort of meet up and congregate and spread the message,” 

Oksner is making his way toward getting the message out as much as possible. Oksner has his fellow club members pass out fliers to better educate the campus, and he plans to launch club events in the near future.

A typical meeting in the club is quite casual. Members catch up with one another and check the news and social media accounts they follow related to their conspiracy. From time to time, they will brainstorm ideas for how they can become further involved on campus. 

“I’m a freshman, so I’m still figuring out how a club works and what I need to do and what’s too much,” Oksner said. 

Oksner acknowledges his current limitations and is focused on the basics of a project like Birds Aren’t Real. 

“I think just the fact that people see that we do exist is the main thing,” Oksner said. 

Oksner has had success in creating the club’s presence. The Google Classroom dedicated to the club has 40 members and around half that number shows up to club meetings due to availability issues. 

“Some of them are friends or friends of people who just heard about it. There are a few people who I don’t know personally, but hopefully, I’ll get to know them better,” Oksner said. 

The club mostly has freshmen, followed by the rest of the grades. 

Their club advisor is Shauna Angell, a biology teacher [Room 608]. 

“I thought it would be really, really impactful if our biology teacher was the advisor of this club that so ardently opposes a big, big institution that people think is true,” Oksner said. 

Oksner takes this theory and his club seriously and firmly believes in what he speaks about and promotes. 

“It’s not a big joke, it is what we truly believe in, and if you believe that, if you believe the same thing, then definitely show up and you know, hang out with a bunch of like-minded people that want to share their ideas,” Oksner said. 



Of the many students that assist in running the FCA club, Nick Scott is one of the prominent few that has a lot of insight into how it functions. Scott got involved with the FCA club through a trip to Hume Lake last year where he attended a seminar that encouraged starting a club at school to spread the good Christian word. 

“I knew so many people who ran it last year, and they graduated and they asked if I could help lead it and so I felt God was calling me to do that,” Scott said. 

Everything lined up for Scott to make a big impact on AGHS’ campus through this club, and in the time he has helped lead this club he has found a lot of success.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity and I’m excited to be part of it,” Scott said. 

FCA stands for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This title however does not exclude those who are not Christian or athletes. 

“Ideally [FCA] is meant for anyone who wants to show up, but the name can kind of deter people from going to it. So before each meeting, we try to say, you don’t have to be a Christian or an athlete,” Scott said. 

FCA strives to be an inclusive and friendly environment and that rings true for most who know of, or are, a member of the club. Part of their inclusiveness spans toward getting in contact with another club on campus, the Jesus club. 

The two clubs have created a minor sense of confusion for those who have noticed their similarities. Furthermore, it has furthered a sense that the FCA club is specifically targeted toward athletes, which is not the intention of the FCA. 

“I definitely wanna get connected with [Jesus club] people. We’re gonna try and like, do something together so we can unify a little more,” Scott said. 

Scott is not shy to communicate, especially considering the fact that Scott has spoken to the over 40 students that attend FCA’s meetings and spoken about passages in the Bible and the lessons to take away from them. 

The passage Scott spoke to the club about was Matthew 15, a story in which Jesus fed a crowd of 4,000 using only the offering from a child of seven loaves and a few small fish. 

“I talked about how we’re kind of called to offer God and offer Jesus what we have, and then he’ll give us something amazing in return,” Scott said, “I think a lot of times we can have a view that stuff, those crazy amazing miracles, God did way back then but I think we can forget that it’s still possible now.” 

Scott spreads the message of positivity in the FCA club, attempting to the best of his abilities to keep people optimistic about the future. 

“I think that at this school, I think there’s gonna be some really awesome stuff happening. So I’m super excited for this year,” Scott said. 

Scott’s optimism leads him towards high ambitions for their club. 

“I love the people that are coming but I would like to get a little more people,” Scott said, “I think I want to grow the demographic a little more, if that makes sense,” 

One of the biggest elements of FCA, that puts it apart from the majority of other clubs on campus is the pizza. At every meeting, the FCA provides multiple large pizzas from Little Caesars, which certainly helps the attendance rate and positive opinion people have of the club. 

This last Thursday, 8 pizzas were provided for the 47 students who showed up to attend the meeting.

“It partially comes from some of the local churches, they’ll help pay for it sometimes. Then sometimes it’s just kind of like some of the leader’s parents. We have five leaders and we’ll try to rotate who’s paying for it,” Scott said. 

“The leaders are connected to Harvest Church in Arroyo Grande, and I am the only one who’s leading from Grace Bible Church, and then we kind of got connected with the church called Equippers and then the pastor at New Life is pretty involved with the club,” Scott said. 

The connections FCA has to local churches are also a testament to the care that is put into the club. These connections, alongside other leaders like Scott, make it so he is not the only speaker at each meeting. In fact, there is almost a brand new speaker at each and every meeting. 

“[FCA] is a good reminder, and it’s a good reset because having it on Tuesdays in the middle of the day its like you can get lost in the busyness of the day and the busyness of the week and you’re kind of stressed about the rest of the week and just having that reset and that refocus of God and also having this big community of people be doing it all together with I think that’s super impactful,” Scott said. 

“Sometimes we can feel like we’re the only ones out there and we’re not, there are weeks that we have 60 or something people so it’s really been inspiring,” Scott said.


Jesus Club  

Jesus Club is a brand new club on Arroyo Grande’s campus. As a first-year club, they have an average attendance of six to eight students. 

“Our [club] is about connecting youth to Jesus and giving them a place to talk about it and have somebody to reach out to from within the church,” Club President Marrissa Fugitt said.

Jesus club is connected to Mercy Church, which also has branches in SLO and Santa Maria, where the presence is a lot larger than that in Arroyo Grande. For the most part, the club is run by Fugitt and her friends.

“We don’t really have a need for any other leaders,” Fugitt said. 

Fugitt was inspired to start the club through outreach encouragement from her church. Fugitt and her friends in Jesus Club provide an opportunity to learn from a church that has a great reputation from those who go there. 

“I really love what I’ve gotten out of being part of the Mercy church,” Fuggit said. 


Students For A Better Community

Students For A Better Community is one of the academically themed clubs on Arroyo Grande’s campus. It is led by Club President Sherry Andrawes on Thursdays at lunch. 

in room 306.

“I started it because I know a lot of freshman and individuals that really need community service hours and they always find trouble connecting with people and trying to find out how to get those hours done,” Andrawes said. 

Andrawes wanted a good way to get students involved and experience volunteering, while also being able to meet and make new friends at the same time. 

The first event they helped out with together as a club was helping at the Harvest Festival in AG. At the movie-night-style event, they helped with resolving traffic at the swinging bridges and with the booths there and they set up the lights. For their second event, “Pumpkins in the Park,” they monitored and got to play in bouncy castles. 

“We’re planning on doing our third event in December. It’s for the Holiday Harmony for the Pismo Recreation. We get to help out with the games and the snow, and get to watch the Christmas lighting. I’m hoping more students will hopefully be interested in joining our club and getting to experience the fun with us,” Andrawes said. 

Students For A Better Community is advised by AP European History and Intro to Psychology Teacher, Kelli Peters.

“She’s awesome. I’m so thankful for her,” Andrawes said. 

Peters is very energetic and outgoing and she is willing to help out when it comes to something like Students for a Better Community. Andrawes had Peters for AP European History and afterward considered her to be one of “the best teachers out there” leading to her choice to make her the advisor for Students for a Better Community.

“She’s definitely my number one choice,” Andrawes said. 

Just as Andrawes is impressed with Peters as a teacher, Peters has been impressed with the effort Andrawes has put into the club. 

“They’ve been very consistent. This group meets really consistently, Sherry’s constantly communicating with them, which is super helpful and we’ve consistently been doing what our goals are of doing community service,” Peters said. 

At the Pumpkins in the Park event at the Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach, Peters and the rest of the students were working for around seven hours, which is 35% of the required community service hours to graduate in one day (though it was not required to stay the whole time). 

“We believe in following through and we have a lot of attendance and those sorts of things,” Peters said. 

The club has up to 40 members, each large event they have around 12 attendees due to scheduling difficulties, and at each different event the 10-12 attendees are usually different individuals. 

“Those who are working towards the 250 [community service hours] this is a good opportunity. As a club, with me, we’ve already completed nine and we’re about to do four more in the next couple of weeks,” Peters said. 


Book Club

Book Club is led by Club President Tiffany Hyun. They meet every Thursday in room 507. 

“Right now we’re reading ‘If We Were Villains’ and I have a form that people put questions in and I keep those questions anonymous so we can just talk bout it and no one is judged if they’re [smart] or dumb,” Hyun said. 

Around now, at the beginning of December, the club will conclude reading If We Were Villains and pick up a new book, making it the perfect time to join up. There are around 14 people in Book Club, and the new book will be decided by a group vote. 

“Definitely if you can try to go to the winter spectacular and support because the money we get from there we’re probably gonna use to get the books and a little potluck,” Hyun said. 


Chess Club 

Chess club is held on Wednesdays in room 909 in the math hall. There is no formal club president, therefore both Drew Thompkins and Richard Bozzano take the official title on the school website. The two have both been in the club for two years. 

“There are two club officers. Nobody’s club president. Richie claims he’s called club president, there was never a vote for club president,” Thompkins said. 

The banter between the leaders of the long-lasting Chess Club is all lighthearted and fun in the end, and neither of the two takes the matter super seriously. 

“At first I thought he was kind of joking like, ‘Ha, I’m club president’ but at some point, I think he actually like sort of believed that he was president,” Thompkins said, “but I don’t really care, it’s fine, it’s whatever and he does do a lot of work,” 

Thompkins proceeds to note that although Bozzano did contribute most of the efforts in the Chess Club when it came to the chess tournament, even providing the prize money, his attendance has been lackluster recently. Thompkins also once again credits Bozzano stating perhaps he deserves the title of club president anyhow. 

“The only reason I’d want to be president would be for college apps and stuff. I mean Chess Club, really, it’s just a place where we’re just sitting there and hanging out a lot,” Thompkins said. 

It is good to have a positive calm space for a club to be held. Especially in a club like Chess Club where the entire premise is built upon competition, it is nice to have an environment that is laid back. Additionally, there are always at least two games being played at each meeting, so the club does still accomplish its objectives. 

“I kind of gave up on him a while ago, you know? He’s a bit of a nutcase,” Thompkins joked.

Thompkins notes that although Bozzano may deserve the position of club president, if it were to come to a vote, Thompkins is doubtful about Bozzano’s success. 

“I think more people like me than him,” Thompkins said. 

Ever since the announcement of the chess tournament, the club has found a lot of success. Thompkins elaborates on the fun environment of students from all grade levels, neither forced to play nor not play chess. 

“Richie, if you’re reading this, if you actually want to be president, let’s have a vote, and you’ll lose,” Thompkins said. 

Bozanno shares similar sentiments about the nature of their club. He also believes that it is a no-commitments involved club, with nothing too crazy about it. Bozzano also promotes the club as more of a social interaction club. 

“Don’t feel intimidated. Don’t think you’re not ready to play because that’s how everyone feels at the beginning. Just come and have a good time. No rules really, just play chess. Have a good time,” Bozzano said. 

Bozanno believes if it were to come for a vote for the presidency, he would, “so win”. 

“Drew is just Drew you know? He’s not very good at chess, unfortunately, but he’s really good at annoying people,” Bozzano said. 

Bozanno suggests that Thompkins perhaps start his own club, but does acknowledge that Thompkins, “does his job”. Bozzano also notes his involvement with ASB, which is a valuable asset to the Chess Club. 

In the Chess Club, there are people from all ranges of chess ratings. Some of the talented few have scores ranging from 1400 to 1700 on, a novice would range with about a mere 400 in score. 

The Chess Club is a friendly, lively environment with something new happening at each meeting. As the club currently is, there is much that may unfold as the club grows in size and as the members of the club develop. 

“If you think you have potential in chess or you think you are already good at chess, stop by. There may be some things happening shortly, there might be some opportunities for some chess players coming up, so be there,” Bozzano said.