St. John's School Kicks off Club Fair
Walking down the grassy area outside the Great Hall during Club Fair is complete chaos. The entire Upper School student population weaves in and out of the booths carrying candy and food, while club leadership stands behind the posters and talks to interested possible members, yelling out to friends to join the email list.
This year’s Club Fair took place during the second week of September during the Upper School lunch period. With approximately 140 clubs, and an average of 20-30 clubs added each year, it is hard not to find what you’re looking for. Roughly 70 clubs lining the Great Lawn each day means it can get a bit hectic - however, that's just part of the charm of Club Fair.
While signing up for a club is possible at any point in the year, Club Fair is the biggest opportunity leaders have to get the word out about their club and attract possible members. As the authority roles of student organizations tend to be filled by juniors and seniors, it's important to keep interest in clubs. After each class graduates, the clubs that don’t have sustained interest run the risk of being discontinued, so Club Fair is a chance to make sure that the interest will continue to grow and remain.
While hosting a booth, it's hard for students to sign up for other clubs they may be interested in. It is also a bit more difficult to see the smaller clubs. Clubs like Crochet Club and Ultimate Frisbee Club can get easily overlooked by the more popular ones, like SPEC (Student Political Education Club), SAMC (Science and Math Club), STEP (Space Technology Engineering and Policy Club), and ECOS (Environmental Club).
To solve these problems, SJS administration is in the process of creating a ‘Club Hub’ that will ease the process of joining clubs and make communication between club leadership and members much simpler. The virtual center should be implemented by the end of September.
To give insight into the event and the surrounding club culture at St. John’s, seniors Michael Skaribas and Caroline Thames shared their perspective as a club leader.
Michael Skaribas, co-founder and co-president of Music Discovery Club, Nutrition for Athletes, and Obscure Sports Club, appreciates the very wide range of student-led organizations.
“I enjoy the freedom that the administration lets us have with setting up meetings and activities and communicating within the club,” he said. “It really helps to build a sense of community and passing within each club. I also think that the student body does a great job of getting involved and joining and attending any club they find interesting.”
On the significance of Club Fair he said, “Club Fair is essential to getting people excited about your club and building a strong base of members. Getting people besides just your friends to come and put their name down for the email list brings lots of different ideas and voices to the club that make it much more fun throughout the year.”
Caroline Thames says there is a club for every interest.
“I love that there are so many clubs that it’s almost impossible to not be able to find a club that matches your interest. I also love being able to see what people are passionate about and what hobbies they spend time on, which is not something you might ordinarily know about someone,” said Caroline, leader of Calligraphy Club and Art Club.
She also emphasizes the importance of the event in cultivating students’ curiosity.
“The most important thing about Club Fair is that people realize that they can sign up for as many clubs as they want and simply be added to the email list,” she said. “Sometimes it’s fun to just know what’s going on in a club, and what types of events are offered, even if you don’t necessarily expect to put a lot of time into that club. It’s easy to pick up a new hobby or interest when you walk around and see everything that’s offered.”
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.