The Circle Voice

New and Changing Clubs on Campus

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There has been an increase in club activity this fall on the Circle. While old clubs are beginning to meet more often, the number of new clubs on campus has also increased. Last year the School yearbook listed 36 clubs, whereas this year boasts 47.

Latin teacher Preston Bannard has noticed this trend – he said that, while the larger political and publication groups have remained constant, the number of new clubs is larger than he remembers in his time as a Groton student.

Starting a new club is a delicate action for many of the new heads. Sophie Park ’19, who started the culinary-oriented Supper Club, said, “It’s been great so far! I’m kind of nervous… because I don’t want the meetings to be too big, but I want to make sure that everyone who’s interested has the chance to come.” Tilly Brooks ‘19, who runs the Business and Management Club, has the opposite concern, and is “working on gathering more attendees”. These comments show the difficulty of starting a club, as it is hard to know exactly how many people are going to show up at each meeting. Despite this issue, Tilly said, the club is slowly increasing in number.

Becky Lipson ’20, head of Chess Club, and Elbereth Chen ’20, head of Puzzle Club, described what it was like for them starting new “game” clubs. Most clubs are run by fifth or sixth formers, and are passed down to new Upper School heads. Some new heads – such as Becky and Elbereth – are in the fourth form. Elbereth said, “it feels great to start a club that is about something I am passionate about, especially when I learn that other people share that passion with me.” Becky reflected her sentiments, saying she’s “glad to have made new peers who I wouldn’t have otherwise met.”

Older clubs have worked to cooperate in timing to ensure all students can attend multiple clubs. Political clubs, the Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Groton Feminists, Humanism Club, and the Cultural Alliance sent an all-student email early this fall outlining allotted time slots for each club. Club meetings seem to proceeding consistently. Lily Cratsley ’19, one of the student heads of Groton Feminists, has been ensuring that the club meets regularly. “You can’t create change by meeting once a term,” she said. “Consistent meetings help ensure that students are living the values discussed, rather than discussing the values they wish to live.”

Not all clubs, however, have had an easy time meeting regularly. Co-advisor of the Cultural Alliance Carolyn Chica said, “I guess my biggest challenge is coming up against time. Or, you know, getting [the student body’s] attention”. The first thing Tilly said when asked about her club was “it’s hard to find a time to meet where I can have all of my members come who are interested because we’re so busy.”

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