Clubs make long-awaited comeback


Maia Barantsevitch

The club fair was back in full swing on the quad this September, after a year away. The student body gathered to explore new and old clubs returning to campus.

Carlos Heredia, Web Editor

After more than a year-long pause, nearly 70 clubs are back in full-swing and finally making a comeback around campus. This year’s club fair had more than thirty clubs on the quad with hundreds of signups as people circled the tables.

“It’s the first normal school thing that’s happened to us in the past two years; it was a pleasant experience,” junior Tyler Paik said. “It wasn’t like last year when literally nothing happened, where it was so monotonous and every single day felt like a repeat of the last.”

Due to the pandemic, many clubs last year were unable to operate or were heavily restricted. “I tried to run Sports League last year but it didn’t start because of Covid, we couldn’t figure it out,” junior Charlie Cooper said. 

Senior Luke Zhu, co-president of International Club and co-chair of Philosophy Club, said that, “For philosophy it was a little rough, because of the online setting it was hard to consistently hold meetings because people were distracted or stressed.”

Despite the difficulties last year, many clubs also figured out new ways to keep events and activities running. Zhu said that the International Club still managed to celebrate some festivals like the Lunar New Year festival and hosted one or two international karaokes, singing songs online. He added that, “We also kept a blog on our website to give people an opportunity to share what was going on in their lives. [For Lunar New Year] volunteers would send videos, little reflections, or photos of them celebrating. We also made a video as a club and presented it to the whole school on Morning Meeting to show where we were and how our families were celebrating the Lunar New Year.”

Joe DiDonato, Assistant Coordinator of Student Activities/Transportation, is in charge of gathering club membership and setting up the club fair and boards. He said that, “[Clubs last year] were doing Zoom like everyone else with club meetings and such. I mean it was tough but we got through it as far as keeping the spirit of clubs alive. We did the best we could, I think even academically we did the best we could with the Zoom teaching and stuff like that. I thought last year was Masters’ finest hour.”

This year, with fewer restrictions, and more international students back on campus, Cooper runs Masters Recreational Basketball, holding games on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Clubs are now also given club time again: a 50 minute period on Day 4 and two 20 minute periods on Day 1 and Day 8. Zhu is now not only able to hold meetings for the Philosophy Club in-person, but also has a clear schedule for when he can do them. He said that, “the 50 minute period is definitely helpful for us because we have to do a lecture first and then discussions, and that gives us a lot of time.” 

In total, at least 68 clubs have been renewed or created this year. These clubs, varying widely in topic, have given students another opportunity to get experience in leadership positions and explore interests: whether it’s making art, playing chess, eating barbecue, or even ghost-hunting. 

“Clubs give a choice for your own sense of belonging, you can find what interests you and be a part of that with like-minded people or friends, or strangers that you want to get to know. The value is limitless, it keeps you involved, it’s just something of your choosing to look forward to after school,” said DiDonato, “When the kids have a year of being neglected certain privileges at school that they’re so used to — that are just normal — when they get that back, the spirit is even more than it was before”