‘School is boring, so it’s time to get spicy!’

A look into Spicy Shirt Club


by Freeman Butler

The Spicy Shirt Club, led by Solomon Keen and Stuart Steele meets in room 1509.

by Ingrid Lid, Staff

Shouts from the balcony send stirs of madness through the commons. Who else could be in the center

but the Spicy Shirt Club. The start to this
wild club was actually more tame than the Christmas music you may have heard blasting down hall 1500. It was nothing but a “dope a** leopard print shirt,” as Solomon Keen, President of the Spicy Shirt Club, described his friend Jessie Jacola’s choice of fashion that fateful day last year in third period math class.

Upon seeing the best shirt he had seen all year, Keen decided that on the coming Thurs- day he would also wear a similar shirt, then the next Thursday after that 15 other people would be wearing “spicy shirts.” Whether that be a “basic t-shirt with something funny on it…or a floral pattern” as classified by Ted Thomas, one of the originating members of the club, or that “double XL tank top with Sonic and Shadow the hedgehog making out [and] ‘Joe Rogan podcast’” written on it that Stuart Steele, the club’s vice president wore, the true definition of a spicy shirt is really up to personal preference.

Days go by, yet the heat is boiling hotter. “Why don’t we make this a thing?” Keen asked. And so it became Sexy Shirt Thurs- day. We’ve all seen the postcards taped up in our classrooms with the models rippling abs wearing spicy shirts. Little did we know a meeting with the student council was being scheduled to make this a set-in-stone club.

“When I had that presentation with about 60 people, I had never done anything like that in my life,” Keen said. “I’ve worked on this presentation and it’s a 10-minute long slide show; three days before I find out that my presentation is only supposed to be 60 sec- onds.” With the stress and anxiety of this new endeavor Keen walks up to the ASB room to find an entourage of 35 to 40 people standing outside hyping him up.

“As one of Solomon’s dearest supporters and of course being a bunch of boys support- ing one guy, we’re kind of loud and rowdy,” Steele said. Shortly, they were all told to leave. Then Keen, with no posse and a pre- sentation mostly made up of improv riding on the mantra: “School is boring, so it’s time to get spicy!” officially got his spicy shirt club accepted.

All they needed now was an advisor, and after 20 rejections, they finally got one yes. “Well, it’s not my usual gig,” said Dana Knox, Spicy Shirt club advisor, self-pro- claimed “goddess of all knowledge,” and English 11 and 12 teacher. “Every day is an adventure and it definitely pushes me to the edge of my comfort zone.” She also explained that even though it gets crazy and hectic, she is still glad that she said yes and is now able to give people a safe space to blow off steam.

Having a majority demographic of young men, Knox went on to say, “men are sup- posed to be macho and strong, but at the same time they’re supposed to be sensitive and share their feelings and they’re supposed to be all things at all times. So if I can help a group of kids play and be goofy and have a safe place to nerd out I am going to do that.”

There’s a lot more to the club than just the shirts, some of the crazy events they’ve hosted include hot sauce eating contests, slip- pery arm wrestling, and shaving heads. Keen said, “The whole reason I started this club is because when I was younger I had this big problem with social anxiety and I had a hard time making friends, and so last year was a big leap for me. I became a better person for myself, so I wanted to share that with people. I just want to create a fun, caring environ- ment where people can be themselves, have fun, and learn how to be confident doing the stupid things we do.”