Packer’s Clubbing Scene
Students getting excited for Packer’s new Lettuce Club, courtesy of Packer Communications Office.
On September 24th, 2019, Packer students rose from their cafeteria tables and made their way to the fourth floor classrooms to attend the annual club fair. New and returning club leaders alike gathered at their striking set-ups, awaiting the approaching laughter and chatter of students ambling up the stairs. Upper School students, perhaps in fascination of the new Lettuce Club or excitement to engage Packer’s respected affinity groups, filled the fourth floor, eager to be introduced to the 2019-2020 club program.
For years, Packer students have bonded in clubs over shared enthusiasm for the arts, politics, languages, and academics. This year, over 45 clubs are available to all Upper School students. Despite the age-old clubs still going strong at Packer, one should not overlook Packer’s many brand new clubs, each of which was started by dedicated and passionate students.
Assistant Upper School Division Head Allison Bishop, who oversees and supports Packer’s club program with help from Student Council Vice President Yusuf Haque (‘20), said that all club ideas are welcome in the application process. This is evident by the assortment of topics covered by new clubs this year, resulting in our community being affected in varied, unique ways.
Regarding the new History Club, which was started by Sadie Sadler (‘22), Amelia Killackey (‘21), and Nick Yohn (‘21), Sadie said, “It will give students who love history a chance to come together and talk about it and discuss it, because in the past there hasn’t been a club that focused on history.”
Sadie’s ideas accurately represent the hopes of many participants in new clubs. Ideally, new clubs will not only further existing interests but also offer more opportunities for students to shed light on their work outside of the classroom setting.
Kate Marriott (‘21), Bella Pitman (‘21) and Lea Wong (‘21) lead the new Packer Journal of History. “Students will be able to share the work they are proud of that they otherwise would not be able to share,” said Kate.
Furthermore, these new clubs encourage environments that both cooperatively discuss topics and actively appreciate them.
Ultraviolet, a new design club and annual publication, was started by Lea Wong (‘21), Dylan Ng (‘20), and Daisy Zuckerman (‘20). “We want to provide a place where art and design can be celebrated…[and] help students get familiar with different design softwares,” explained Lea.
Finally, club leaders aspire to more than just a good turnout; strong effort and care from participants that accurately matches the hard work put in by leaders is what keeps a club alive. It should not be forgotten that new clubs are excellent spaces not only for attendees to try something new and share their interests with others, but for leaders as well.
Smacky Coe (‘22), a leader of Packer’s new Skate Club along with Miles Wachsteter (‘22) and Marco Mastropietro (‘21), shared, “We want people to care about our club. We don’t want a bunch of people sitting around. We want them to care about what we’re saying, be engaged in it.”
These clubs are just a portion of the several new clubs presented to Upper School students this year; a list of all 2019-2020 clubs has been sent out by Ms. Bishop. This list is an easily accessible resource to discover these newly available spaces, each offering its own unique experience. Despite the differences in subject matter, all new clubs at Packer provide students with even more opportunities for positive engagement within the community as well as outlets for discussion and contribution. The freedom to create a club at Packer liberates students from their regularly assigned coursework to engage in their passions and bond with new people.
“Find your people,” said Ms. Bishop, when asked what purpose clubs serve in the Packer community, concisely articulating the sense of unity that such spaces create.