Join the Club!

Despite the excruciating heat last Sunday, the East Lawn was packed with eager students and club leaders during Andover’s annual Club Rally. The blaring music cut through the humid air, but wasn’t quite enough to outdo the enthusiastic club booths, where leaders were shouting and handing out lollypops, ribbons, and half-melted chocolate. With three rows of tables, a wide selection of clubs, ranging from Mock Trial to Sudoku Club and from Center for Global Justice to Classic Rock Appreciation Club (CRAC), made it to the Rally. This year, many of the previously unknown clubs are making a come back by recruiting more members, inviting prestigious speakers to Andover, and planning school-wide events. The Jewish Student Union (JSU) was a force to be reckoned with at the Club Rally. JSU Co-President Naomi Sobelson ’08 said, “We [were] yelling ‘You don’t have to be Jewish to have fun!’ all day.” JSU meets on Tuesday and Friday nights and has a few events already planned. For example, on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, they will provide the holiday’s traditional food, apples and honey. Sobelson added, “We really wanted to stress that this club is for everyone to learn more about our faith. We’re so excited to incorporate Judaism into life on campus and participate in interfaith events.” Phillips Academy Partnership for AIDS Awareness (PAPAA) also recruited members. PAPAA is preparing for an event-filled year, organizing two or three events each term. This terms activities include a World Aids Day event, Grassroots Soccer fundraiser, and a chocolate fondue night. During the Club Rally, everyone who signed up for PAPAA received a red ribbon to show their support in the fight against AIDS. Board member Mary Doyle ’08 said, “The kids on our email list are going to receive emails about our meetings, impressive lectures, and off campus trips. This will be an exciting year for PAPAA.” Representing the Theatre and Dance community at Andover, the Drama Lab producers gave students an opportunity to sign up to receive information about upcoming productions. James Flynn ’07 said, “The really large variety of shows and productions and other theater opportunities really gives everyone from an actor to a techie the ability to get involved in theater and dance here at Andover.” The sign-up sheet did not commit anyone to the club, but instead allowed anyone interested in the Theatre and Dance Department to receive information about the future auditions and productions. Community Awareness for Everyone (CAFÉ), another student-run organization, focuses on hosting open discussions and forums for students to share their views on various topics. CAFÉ member Chelsea Woods ’07 said, “We’re an open forum that talks about issues that affect us in our Andover community as well as issues growing larger in the world today.” CAFÉ plans to hold meetings two Friday evenings a term. The first meeting will cover immigration issues. The second meeting will follow a professional’s lecture about gender issues. Lydia Dallett ‘08, another CAFÉ member, said, “CAFÉ’s main goal is to balance worldly issues with issues that PA kids can connect with and give them an outlet to talk about these issues. There is also free Starbucks food and coffee served during our meetings.” Swing with Andover Youth (SWAY) is a unique club that allows students to learn to swing dance with their friends. The club meets on Sunday nights from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Co-President Susannah Poland ’07 said, “[SWAY is] fun, it’s casual, it’s a party.” Mezzofanti Society, Andover’s new linguistic club, holds its meetings in Samuel Phillips Hall on Wednesday nights at 7:00. This club’s ambitious goal is to teach members different languages each week over dessert. Meg Ishizuka ’08 said, “We’re going to learn introductory phrases in a bunch of other different languages.” Molly Shoemaker ’08 added, “There’s going to be a lot of cool obscure languages being taught. It won’t be intimidating at all because it’s new for everyone.” Another relatively new club, Little Angels, works to raise money to help fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a life-threatening disease that affects the part of the nervous system that controls muscle movement. Through a variety of fundraisers, this club’s main goal is to provide support to organizations currently researching ALS. At Andover, the opportunity to start a new club or join an existing one is available to everyone. With so many different opportunities to choose from, pick out a club and make the experience your own!