Club Fair 2017: New Year, New Clubs, New Policy
Above: PJ Young (‘19) shows off his dancing skills in attempt to promote Hip-hop club, one of the many new clubs on the 2017/2018 roster.
Although Student Council’s latest club policy is not much more than an update of last years, the newly seated administration has a lot to be praised for, as all fifty club applications were approved for this upcoming semester. In addition to keeping all of the 2016/2017 clubs in place, Student Council was eager to introduce a slew of newly formed groups within the club roster.
Some of the new standout clubs this year include Geography Club, Girls of Color, Cambodia Living Arts, and Dance Club, which is returning from a yearlong hiatus. The new Family Composition Affinity Group is a particularly intriguing club spawning from last years Packer in Action Day. Within the Family Composition affinity space, one of the many that the Upper School split into that day, the students claimed to have felt a strong connection and wanted to further develop their relationships.
Another original club new to the Upper School this year is Sports Medicine. Led by Mark Gazzerro and Parker Jones (‘20), this club seeks to explore the medicinal and fitness side of athletics, working with the new – and, of course, much fawned over – athletic trainer Mike Cunningham to learn more about overall treatment and physic in sports.
Packer Launch X, another new club that will no doubt garner quite a lot of support this year, focuses on business and entrepreneurship.
“By the end of the year, you will be a C.E.O of your own company, I will assure you that,” said leader Taiki Chung (’18). “If we have a good pitch, we will go to M.I.T and pitch our companies to real investors and hope to gain money from them.”
As for the new club policy, much of last years stringency on fake and purely “college resumé bolstering” clubs will remain the same. Also similar to last year, the current policy requires applications to be filled out via a Google form; clubs can only meet once a cycle; clubs are no longer allowed to meet during lunch hours, and club leaders are required to fill out evaluations periodically throughout the year, which are read by Vice President Rhea Lieber (‘18).
One new aspect of the current club policy is its increased severity towards club faculty advising.
“Last year it was a little ‘lax’ in terms of having an adult present, but this year it’s a requirement, and so we only have so many adults in our community who have time available,” said Allison Bishop, Dean of Upper School Student Life and Leadership.
In addition to keeping track of club trips, finances, and safety issues, one particular quality of the more present faculty advisor is their inherent ability to winnow out fake clubs simply because no faculty member would want to waste time advising a non-productive group.
“In order to get a faculty advisor you have to be like ‘hi, I’m so-and-so, I’m the leader of this club, this is what we do, would you consider putting your time into our club,’ and if you’re not meeting and it’s a joke – you’re like running Waffle Club – then your advisor is going to be like ‘what are you doing… like no,’” said Rhea, both hands up in a gesture of irritation.
After yet another raucous club fair this past September, Packer’s 2017/2018 club roster, now under new and improved policy, is expected to increase in both quality and productivity this year.