“Stuff” that Matters Club


Annika Morris, Reporter

“Stuff” that Matters Club meets every Friday in room S7. The club is held seminar-style, where a topic of interest is randomly chosen and discussed the following week.

The premise of the meetings is simple: the members sit in a circle and discuss whatever topic was chosen the week before.

The members give West students a chance to listen to themselves, talk openly, and debate with others. Topics have ranged from sensitive topics, such as mental health and boundaries, to specific activities that people enjoy. Tangents are common and encouraged in the club, which is reminiscent of the way the sponsor, Brian Goudreau, teaches his class.

Goudreau was the inspiration for the club. Annie Couey, co-president of “Stuff” that Matters Club, was in his third hour biology class, and they often went off-topic during lectures. “One day in class, we were talking in Mr. Goudreau’s, and… he was like, ‘Oh, we have to move on to the lesson.’ We were all like, ‘Why do you have to move on? We wish you had a club for that…’ and that’s how it came into existence,” Couey recalled. “We modeled the club after his classes because they were fun but also informative, and above all, inclusive to everyone’s opinion and everyone’s questions,” co-president Carmen Gordon-Rein said.

All topics are welcome. Anyone participating in the club can write a topic they care about on a slip of paper and place it into The Bucket: an emptied Red Vines tub that sits atop Goudreau’s microwave.

When it is time to choose a topic at the end of a meeting, Gordon-Rein holds up The Bucket as high as she can, and someone reaches in and picks a slip of paper. Whatever is written on the slip of paper is the topic for the next week.

Anyone is allowed to join the club, and all are welcome. All kinds of kids have participated in the meetings. Members hold no commitment to going to every meeting. The number of members at the meeting fluctuate between 15 and eight. “We’re all pretty different in personality and how we interact at the meetings. There are some people who are very passionate about certain subjects and dominate a discussion, some people who speak pretty moderately, and some people who sometimes don’t speak at all and just sit and listen,” said club member Camille Bennett.

“If you like to talk about things, debate, you enjoy going off on tangents…then it’s nice to come in and be able to debate and hear what people think,” said Couey. The club is always looking for new members.

Co-president Carmen Gordon-Rein lifts up the Red Vines bucket full of discussion topics for club member Juliet Eklund to pick from at the end of the meeting.