Room For Debate: Is the Clubs Fair Effective?

Anti Clubs Fair Stance Henry Coleman The clubs fair at Latin is a great idea in theory — everyone gets a chance to see all the fun things they can do outside of their classes, be it Model UN, the yearbook, or even fantasy football. Everything is in one place, at one time, and you can sign up for everything right at the tables. It sounded like the perfect setup to me… until I got there.         Standing in the middle of the roof gym packed full of people was like being in a hurricane with no eye. Upperclassmen were calling out from every table, offering everything from candy to stickers, so people would sign up for their clubs. I was completely overwhelmed, and ended up signing up for over ten clubs. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Classic freshman, he has no idea what he’s doing.” Sure, that may be accurate, but even though it’s mostly my fault that I’m registered for more clubs than I have fingers, it’s partially a problem with the clubs fair, too. First off, we received barely any information regarding the fair before it happened; some freshmen were even wandering around the halls just before it started, asking whether or not we had gathering. The clubs fair definitely could have been better explained to freshmen, even if it was just a quick Q and A during advisory. Second, the club fair was in too small of a location for people to effectively check out all of the clubs. The roof gym may be good for volleyball, but when 500 people pack into a space meant for at most a hundred, things are bound to get chaotic. As Peter Jones, another freshman, put it, “it was crowded, hot, and disorganized. It was often hard to tell who was representing which club, but at least the candy was good.” I myself missed a few tables because they were completely obscured by the massive line of people waiting to sign up for Model UN. Lastly, and probably most importantly, I felt that some of the club heads were prioritizing sign-ups over information. Table after table, the only thing I would hear is “Sign up for our club! Sign up for our club!” The posters were sparse and not informational, and at some tables, most of the people were signing up just to get candy. Often times, I had to ask the club heads multiple times for more information before I could get them to tell me what the club was actually about.         The clubs fair is a concept well thought out, but poorly executed. It may work well for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who have been at Latin for more than one year and know their way around, but for freshmen, who are new and unaccustomed to the ways of the school, clubs fair is simply fifty minutes of confusion. Pro Clubs Fair Stance Eli Aronson Clubs fair at Latin is a great way for students, especially freshmen, to get involved in clubs. Three weeks ago I experienced my first Latin clubs fair. It had been hyped up by lots of older students and teachers I had talked to, all telling me to sign up for as many things as possible. I went into clubs fair thinking I should sign up for only the things that were interesting to me; after all, it’s quality over quantity. I didn’t know what to expect before walking into the gym, but I was immediately impressed by the multitude of clubs that there were. The fact that anyone can join any club, for the most part, shows the inclusiveness and sense of community here at Latin, and I like the fact that everyone goes to the clubs fair at the same time, so I could go through all the clubs with my friends. The way the tables were set up in the gym made it easy to go from table to table and listen to each of the clubs leaders talk. When we would stop at a table, each club leader would try to sell us on their club and have us at least sign up, which made us freshmen feel welcome into the high school community.   But, we knew that didn’t mean we were committed 100%. It A common tactic that club leaders used to try to get us to join their club was to bribe us with candy to join.  As freshmen, we all thought we got the better end of the bargain — getting candy in exchange for receiving a few emails every now and then.  All the leaders were accepting of everyone, but at the same time did not put any pressure on us to join their club.   From my perspective, the clubs fair is a great way for people to go out and be part of the Latin community by being able to see all that is available to them and to know that they can really be a part of whatever they want.]]>