Clubs and Organizations
The Upper School offers a wide range of student-led clubs, organizations, and leadership opportunities. These groups are important pieces of the student experience, and time is set aside every week during X-period for groups to meet. Some groups are open for anyone to join; others require an election or selection process; and, others are part of a class and are taken for credit. Students are encouraged to form new clubs and organizations with peers who share their interests.
The Upper School also offers a range of club sports that are open to all students. Learn more about club sports.
- "Elected and Selected" Groups
- Course-Based Activities
- Open-Membership Clubs and Organizations
- Affinity/Special Interest Groups
Groups that require election or a selection process:
Upper School Council is SPA's student government organization. Sixteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12. Visit the USC website.
- Student Activities Committee organizes Upper School social events, dances, and other activities. Nineteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12.
- Committee for Community Conduct works with the Dean of Students and other administrators to hear student discipline cases, including instances of academic dishonesty and violations of the Student Code of Conduct, and make recommendations for appropriate consequences. Ten members are elected representing grades 9-12.
- Peer Helpers work with the Upper School Counselor and are trained to offer peer-to-peer support. Peer Helpers requires application and selection.
- Class Leadership Councils represent their grade levels in Grade 10-12 and work with the Dean of Students on activities and events. CLC requires application and selection.
- The Student Technology Committee works with the students, administration, and the Technology Department to help coordinate SPA's technology policies and promote technological literacy within the student body. Six members are elected representing grades 9-12.
Activities that are part of a class for credit:
The Rubicon is SPA's student newspaper. The Rubicon is widely recognized as one of the best student newspapers in the country, and has been awarded numerous state, regional, and national awards in recent years for both its print and online editions. Students interested in working on The Rubicon take a series of Journalism courses within the English Department for credit. View Journalism course descriptions or read The Rubicon online.
- SPA's Debate team is one of the best in the state, consistently winning Minnesota state titles and competing at the national and international level. Students interested in Debate take a series of Debate courses within the English Department for credit. View Debate course descriptions.
- The IBID yearbook is for students interested in journalism, photography, graphic design, and publications management. Students interested in working on the yearbook are able to take a series of classes within the English Department for credit. View course descriptions.
Groups that have open membership
Every year, students organize and participate in dozens of clubs and organizations that are open to all Upper School students with common interests. These open-membership clubs and organizations are largely student-driven and change from year to year.
- A Capella Club gives students a unique opportunity for vocal performance outside of Academy Chorale and Summit Singers.
- Action for Gender Equality seeks to make SPA an inclusive and respectful environment for students and faculty of all genders.
- Argumentation Club pursues the highest level of intellectual discourse, through the medium of civil debate of topics either frivolous or topical.
- Book Club allows members to express their emotions through literature and a collective love for reading.
- Chess Club is an organization aiming to teach the game of chess and offer an opportunity to play chess with other students. There are chess puzzles, casual games, and tournaments.
- Community Action and Service welcomes students of all backgrounds to provide support to communities in need. This is a passionate group of students centered around volunteering.
- Fashion Club strives to create new connections and skills centered around creativity and clothing. Highlights of the club include a clothing drive to serve the broader community and a clothing swap for the SPA community.
- Film Club Love movies? Love TV shows? Love to listen to other people talk about movies and TV shows? Then come to Film Club! Discussions range from opinions on films to, genre, history of film, and other behind-the-scenes trivia.
- Game Club is a space for students to relax and play card, board, and video games in a moderated space where everyone feels comfortable and welcome.
- Gender and Sexuality Acceptance Club exists to make campus a safe space for all students regardless of gender or sexuality.
- Intercultural Club is devoted to honoring and recognizing the mosaic of identities, traditions, and values in our community to further promote inclusivity and interconnectivity among all cultures.
- Iris: Art + Lit seeks to celebrate the diverse creative voices in our community and encourage engagement with the arts.
- Knitwits is a textile arts club for students who craft. Come to Knitwits to work on your latest project, share supplies and patterns, or learn new skills. We can teach you how to knit!
- Math Team encourages student interest in mathematics and competes in the Minnesota State High School Math League.
- Music Club is a group for students who are passionate about music. Over the course of the year, the group plays covers and original music in small groups.
- Outdoors Club gets students outside in the fresh air and enjoying a break. Additionally, there is a focus on sustainability and how it relates to protecting our planet.
- People for Environmental Protection seeks to improve the sustainability of SPA by maintaining a pollinator garden, set new recycling standards, and further conversations on food waste.
- Play Club allows all students a space to play in the gym, meet their fitness goals, and make new friends along the way.
- Political Discourse Club fosters a space for discussion of current events. Discussions will stem from news around the world, and here in the U.S.
- Quiz Bowl is a trivia-based competition game. Over the year, the team will play in tournaments, league play, and strive to make it to nationals.
- Role Playing Club’s goal is to create an inclusive space for students to play tabletop role playing games with a focus on Dungeons and Dragons.
- Spartans Against Destructive Decisions (SAAD) seeks to promote decision-making that positively impacts us as individuals and our communities by providing resources, space for conversations, and engagement.
- Science Alliance is SPA’s home for all science enthusiasts! We carry out demonstrations and bring in speakers to discuss recent science discoveries and related events.
- SPARK! Maker's Space's goal is to give students the time and opportunities to design and create to their heart's content with all the equipment and guidance available to them in the Schilling Center Design Lab.
- Spartan Boosters is aimed at growing enthusiasm and interest around SPA athletics by supporting our peers at athletic events.
- Sports Analytics Club is an open forum for all upper school students committed to the analysis of sports strategy and how statistics work behind the scenes to produce and predict what is seen in person, and on TV.
- StartUp: Entrepreneur Club seeks to guide ideas into reality. We aim to work together to learn business skills and create a space to have open discussion about ideas and their place in the market.
- Students for Social Justice focuses on promoting discussions and awareness surrounding current social issues (both local and national), as well as working to empower the SPA student body to become more involved with issues they’re passionate about.
Groups that have affinity membership
An affinity group is a group of people who share a common aspect of their identity. They may be focused on different parts of identity, such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Anyone can participate in an affinity group as long as you share that aspect of your identity.
- Asian Student Alliance is an affinity group that seeks to make a stronger and friendly Asian community within SPA.
- Black and Brown Student Union (BBSU) is an affinity group for Black and Latinx identifying students at SPA.
- Common Ground connects and celebrates Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students. Build connections and support through meaningful conversations about your SPA experience.
- HerSpace provides a safe space for female identifying students to come and get support from one another and discuss ways to raise awareness around issues that affect female identifying students.
- Latinos Unidos strives to create a safe, fun, and understanding environment for the Hispanic/Latinx identifying students in the SPA community.
- Mishpacha is an affinity group for SPA’s Jewish student community that welcomes Jews of all denominations, levels of observance, and political views.
- Muslim Affinity Group fosters discussions that center around how religion shapes our lives and how to build a community among the Muslim students at SPA.
- Rainbow Connection is a fun and safe space for SPA students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Activities include talking about queer pop culture and exploring a variety of media.
Groups that have special interest membership
A special interest group is a group of people who may or may not share a common aspect of their identity. The group has an identified topic, theme, or focus that the group is committed to working towards.
- Neurodiversity Group is a special interest group whose focus is educating the SPA community on neurodivergence and creating a safe space for people to discuss and learn about neurodivergence.
- White Ally/Antiracist Group is a student group for white-identifying students who want to explore their white racial identity in order to actively become better allies to Black, Indigenous and people of color, and work to dismantle white supremacy.