Clubs, Clubs, Clubs!
Every community time, the usually packed student center begins to empty out, with Packer students spreading throughout the upper school to attend their various clubs. Clubs are something that students look forward to, a break in their classes where they get to focus on things they love and care about.
With over 50 clubs, all topics, from academics to recreation and community service, are covered. Some, such as Packer Journal of History and Packer Current Items, put out publications featuring student work while others, such as Brothers and Sisters and Asian Affinity Alliance provide safe spaces for students of color at Packer.
One example of a club that has grown and expanded in recent years is the Debate club. Although it is only the second year that debate has been acknowledged as an official club, in these past two years it has achieved a lot.
The club is described as “an awesome way to learn about current events around the world, be part of a close-knit team, gain research and public speaking skills (that will help you in your classes), win awards and travel to cool places.”
As one of Debate’s leaders Bella Pitman (‘21) explains, the club originally only consisted of six people, two of them being the senior leaders. This year, “What we have achieved is that now we have a lot of freshmen who are part of the club so it has really grown. We have also gotten a really big budget increase from the school as well as an official coach.”
Co-leader Nick Yohn (‘21) added, “This past year we got the budget quadrupled by expanding the team dramatically in size. We are currently at 20 plus members of the team, up from six [the 2017-2018 school year] and eight last year.”
When asked about her favorite parts of Debate, Bella shared, “I think it is that the skills it teaches you for school are really helpful. It has taught me how to research and how to argue and prove my point really well. It’s also just a fun way for me to argue in an academic structured setting, cause I’m a bit of an argumentative person. It’s also just really fun to learn about what is going on in the world.”
“We teach debate, we learn about current events issues, we practice debating, and then we compete at tournaments, and we try to win,” said Nick.
Another popular club at Packer is Harvard Model Congress. Similar to Debate, Harvard Model Congress includes discussing current events, especially politics and policy, as well as developing public speaking and leadership skills, as described in the club list. Each year the club culminates in a conference in Boston.
Sam Levine (‘21), a member of Harvard Model Congress since his Freshman year, explains that“In Harvard model congress we basically roleplay the United States congress so each student is assigned a committee as well as an actual senator and you research that senators’ views on the certain topics you are discussing in your committee and then you go and try and make bills according to their beliefs.”
Packer has repeatedly done well in the conference, and consequently are able to bring a larger number of students than most other schools.This works well for the many Packer students interested in joining the club.
Sam explained that his interest stems from his political interests.
“I really enjoy politics and the diplomacy behind making compromises and getting to advocate for yourself and your senator. It’s also really fun to play the opposite party than you actually are because it’s not really advocating from my emotions necessarily, but from what I have learned,” said Sam.
Another popular club at Packer is Packer Current Items (PCI). PCI is Packer’s literary and arts magazine. Throughout the year, the club members and leaders work to compile works of writing and art from Packer students across all grades and, at the end of the year, distribute a magazine of the work.
Lea Wong (‘21), a member of PCI for the past year shares that one draw of the club for her is the teamwork aspect. “It’s definitely really collaborative. I know there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes with the leaders and the editors but when we meet as a club it feels like we are all working together to finalize things. Also, it feels like the leaders really appreciate our input as club members as in terms of getting outreach and getting people to submit.”
These four groups are only a glimpse at the extensive range of clubs, publications, and committees at Packer. Throughout Packers years, there have been clubs for almost every topic, yet if you still feel the club fair is lacking a booth, there always seems to be room for another one.