The Chaos of Clubs Fair


Peter Jones, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Only three full weeks in, the new school year has already accelerated to a blisteringly fast pace, and with that came an infamous, hectic September milestone – last Wednesday’s clubs and affinities fair. The fair has long been referred to as a loud, unorganized maelstrom of last-minute posters and candy offerings, yet this year’s new clubs, as well as the return of some past favorites, have many Latin students feeling optimistic about the year to come.

Students entering through the Roof Gym’s double doors were soon witness to posters advertising many of the same clubs and affinity groups that the Latin community has come to love, such as LAW, the Roman Acapella groups, Best Buddies, Girls Who Code, and Autism Support Club, among many others. With the graduation of last year’s senior class, many of those groups now boast new, younger leaders with new plans. Pamela Cameron, a junior and leader of Girls Who Code, shared that this year’s activities will include “working in the Maker Space to make stickers and other fun projects, as well as tackling beginner coding projects.”

Additionally, some new ideas for clubs were introduced at the fair, and it seems as though they have been met with a great deal of interest:

Juniors Luca Craigie and Francesca Sacchetti will be debuting the “Italian Club,” an interest-based club that pays homage to their Italian heritage. As Francesca explained, activities will include “eating Italian food, learning some Italian language, and listening to Italian music.” She also cited the classic, critically-acclaimed film The Godfather as a potential window into Italian culture. Luca, upon being asked about his motivation for starting the club, offered that he and Francesca “wanted to give students the chance to appreciate and learn about a culture that has impacted the world for many years.”

On the environmental side of things, juniors Milana Jozwiak and Olivia Syftestad are introducing their “Animal Advocacy Club.” The group used to be called the “Animal Awareness Club” until shortly after the clubs fair, at which point Milana and Olivia decided that most people are, in fact, aware of animals’ existence, and instead wanted to highlight the club’s intention to advocate for all animals. And yes, “all animals” is the operative phrase here – Olivia emphasized that “even pigeons” would be supported. That support will come, as Milana explained, in the form of “fundraisers and animal-oriented service opportunities.”

The fair even allowed for the emergence of a new athletic club – seniors Tej Bahri, Pierce Rutledge, and Jonathan Wuyan, alongside juniors Cole Fuller, Eytan Raviv, and Noah Reese-Clauson, have all joined together to launch Latin’s first-ever Spikeball club. The sport, invented in 1989, borrows heavily from volleyball, except that the net sits in a round, trampoline-like structure on the ground. Eytan explained that Spikeball is “more than just a beach game,” and that the new club is important because it’s “one of the fastest-growing games in America, and Latin deserves a space in which people who play can get together.” 

As for the fair itself? Well, many in the Latin community do feel that this year’s event was a considerable improvement from those of the past:

Ascher Cahn, a sophomore, shared that “this year’s clubs fair had more energy and got me much more excited for the year to come,” in comparison to the one in 2018.

Henry Coleman, a staff writer for The Forum who has publicly criticized the fair in the past, acknowledged that “it was less hectic, but there might have been less [sic] people this year.” 

It also seems as though the freshmen were effectively able to gain access to Latin’s upper school clubs – Kaden Stone said that he “really liked how it went, and how all the clubs had a chance to display what they do,” and even found himself “joining a club I never would have joined otherwise.”

While the clubs and affinities fair isn’t perfect, it has, over time, turned into an almost loveable, first-month-of-school ritual. The fair provides something for everyone, and while for some that “something” might simply be a twenty-minute free block in the Learning Commons, for others it represents a great opportunity to pursue their interests – including (but not limited to) Spikeball, animals, and Italian culture.