Commentary

Club-Rally Hazed

Friday September 18, 2009: as I walked to the patio of Commons two years ago, heading to my very first club rally on the first Friday of freshman year, I remember my eyes widening at the sight I saw in front of me. Seniors, the Class of 2010, and Uppers, the Class of 2011, were being hysterical! Everywhere I looked, someone was thrusting a sign in someone else’s face, screaming at the top of their lungs or forcing pens into my fellow freshmen’s hands to sign up for their club. As a week old student, the energy of the Club Rally truly shocked me, even intimidated me a little bit, because I never expected such a scene.

My initial reaction was fearful, but I took a deep breath and timidly made my way around the tables. The excitement was contagious. The Seniors and Uppers were going crazy, the fun, and joy of the night took me away. Everybody appeared so enthusiastic about whatever club they were representing, and each one of them sounded so cool and unique. I walked around and around, signing rlewis@andover.edu repeatedly, and enjoying the candy from every table. I must have joined twenty-five clubs in those ten whirlwind minutes. When I replayed the night later in my head, I was in awe about the ritual I had just taken part in.

Friday night, I got to be the Upper, Class of 2013, screaming at freshmen to sign my club’s email list and proclaiming my club’s awesomeness to anyone and everyone in the courtyard of Commons. What added to the thrill was the fact that all of my friends and fellow classmates were now the ones shouting and screaming at underclassmen.

“Join this!”

“You better be coming to that!”

I let every ounce of my enthusiasm loose, and frankly got a couple “That girl’s crazy” looks from some freshmen, but I didn’t care one bit. I loved it—it represents what excites me every week and getting caught up in a moment where everyone was truly euphoric about spreading the word about his or her clubs.

Freshman year, I wondered how all these people could possibly be so rambunctious. Fast forward two years later, and Upper year, I got my answer. We’re rambunctious for a reason—the club rally is our chance to put our hearts and souls into representing the things we are most passionate about. It’s our chance to share some of the best parts of our day after classes and entice people to get involved and join the fun.

Every single one of our clubs is a unique place to foster ideas, culture, knowledge and interests along with endless opportunities and the chance to meet new people. So, to the Class of 2015, sorry if I scared you. I meant no harm—none of us did. We “Club-Rally hazed” you for a reason. We love our clubs, we love this school and we can’t wait for all of you to be a part of them. And whether you’re new or returning, embrace moments like this that are so special at Andover—you are bound to be amazed by what you can discover.

Rhea Lewis is a three-year Upper from Middleton, MA.