Clubs and Pubs Fair returns in-person

Athena Rem, Staff Writer

Yesterday, the Upper Division (UD) revived the annual Clubs and Publications Fair to showcase both new and existing clubs. 15 new clubs and one new publication made their debut at the Fair.

While the fair took place online last year because of the pandemic, it is back in-person this year with the traditional booths, banners, and snacks, Dean of Students Michael Dalo said. Despite some adjustments being made due to the pandemic, the fair has almost completely returned to normal. The main difference is that club leaders were only permitted to bring individually-packaged food, Dalo said.

Since the Clubs Fair was online last year, Dalo was excited to bring back the traditional in-person version. “I really believe that participating in [clubs and publications] is integral to the HM UD experience, and the Fair offers an easy way for students to access that,” he said. “We tried to simulate it as best we could [last year] through the virtual directory, which included videos. While that was okay, it was not the same. I’m so happy that we are back to the usual Fair.”

The Fair is also important for sharing passions and creating a sense of community, Dalo said. “Our students do incredible things in the classroom, and the Clubs and Pubs Fair is a way to see some of [what they do].”

When they entered the UD, Rizaa Fazal (10) and Yasmeen Masoud (10) looked for a publication on humanitarian issues, but could not find one, Fazal said. This inspired them to start their own publication called the HuManitarian, she said. “It highlights human rights crises, past and present, around the world,” Fazal. “By doing so, the main purpose is to educate people.”

Fazal is also excited to bring another club to the school with Nuisaba Ashraf (10), Zain Lakhaney (10), and Masoud: Horace Mann for Islamic Awareness (HMIA). The club is an open space to discuss prejudice against and the achievements of Muslim people around the world, Fazal said. They plan to hold discussions on fundraisers on these topics and donate these proceeds to nonprofits helping immigrant and refugee families around the world, Fazal said.

Miller Harris (11) and Sammi Strasser (11) started a new club called HM Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Coalition. The program operates several times a year, allowing UD students to collaborate with the Lower Division (LD) to conduct various science experiments, Harris said. “We both really like science and want to share our passion with lower schoolers. It will be fun for us, and hopefully a treat for them too.” Harris was especially excited to gain volunteers at the fair.

Sophie Dauer (11), Allison Markman (11), and Rachel Baez (11) introduced the Horace Mann Criminal Justice Club at the fair. Dauer and her co-presidents wanted to create a space to discuss issues pertinent to criminal justice, she said. “This is a space that currently does not exist at the school, which is why we decided to make the club.”

Dauer plans to invite speakers and hold discussions amongst students to inspire a meaningful dialogue on incarceration and legal justice, she said. Adding a component of public service, the group will also reach out to various nonprofits and organizations based on “reentry,” the return to society after incarceration, she said. A potential candidate for collaboration is the Exodus Transitional Community, whom Markman worked with to organize food drives, Dauer said. However, the club also plans to connect with multiple groups over the course of the year, she said.

Harper Rosenberg (10) was happy to have the fair since it was online last year, she said. She was glad to be immersed in the school’s culture, and found many more interesting clubs than she thought she would, she said. While the number of clubs was overwhelming at first, she was glad to see students so passionate about their subjects, she said.

Likewise, this was also Oliver Guyer’s (9) first Clubs Fair. “I remembered seeing it when I was in sixth grade and it was really cool to see how enthusiastic everyone was.” Guyer also spoke to a lot of upperclassmen about clubs, which he found interesting. “The energy level was very high, and it was great to see everyone’s interests.”