The animated sounds of students chattering and live music rolled out of Lower Right into the lobby of Paresky Commons. On the night of January 12, the dining room was transformed into a bustling Winter Club Fair, where new clubs boasted impressive signs, music, and enigmatic founders and the student body snaked throughout the labyrinth of tables.
Tina Phan ’26, Co-founder of LeadHer, a club formed to create an affinity space for women, detailed the logistics behind the Winter Club Fair. Since new clubs can’t self-promote at the renowned Fall Club Fair, she noted this event’s importance for recently approved clubs that are in the growing and development process.
“That’s the reason why we have a Winter Club Fair at all. It’s because technically new clubs, even if they’re founded in September and have been approved by Mr. [Christopher] Capano, [Director of Student Activities], aren’t officially allowed to have a stand at the Fall Club Fair. So the [Winter] Club Fair is a great time for new clubs, and it’s really nice because almost all of them are new. A lot of people were there for the first time, and I thought it was also a great experience for Freshmen who are part of new clubs as well,” Phan said.
Phan also noted how the change in location of the Winter Club Fair from Snyder Center, which was where the Fall Club Fair was held, to Paresky improved the quality and success despite having a smaller quantity of participating clubs.
“It was much smaller, [but] it was a bit more intimate. There was live music from the new jazz club, which was really fun, [and] I just really liked the lively spirit there. I think that the location for the Winter Club Fair was honestly much better. Snyder is so far from the main campus and from almost all of the dorms. I think that hosting the club in [Paresky] was so accessible for both people: the club leadership, and also people who are just interested in browsing. Given it was a Winter Club Fair and it was all new clubs there, we had a great turnout, [so although the] Fall Club [Fair] always does well, I think in the future it being in [Paresky] could be a huge plus,” Phan said.
Drew Wasylyshyn ’26 was another student hosting a stand for his new club Andover Marketing. Wasylyshyn also recalled that the fair was lively and celebrated the student turnout and how enjoyable it turned out to be.
“I love the Club Fair. I just love the enthusiasm everyone has, and [how] everyone’s just so lively. I had a great time. Everyone had a lot of good energy and [were] very loud. It’s a great way for students to find other students with similar interests, so I’m happy the school offers that and there’s a full night for it,” Wasylyshyn said.
Some students appreciated the change in setting, going from Snyder Center to Paresky. Iwo Wicinski ’24 also appreciated both the fact that the club fair was in Paresky and that it returned such a high volume of students and excitement. As the Co-Founder of the new Andover Automotive Association, Wicinski also praised the myriad of other clubs presenting alongside him.
“It was super exciting. Our club just built a big hot wheels ramp for people to launch cars off of it, and when they signed up they got to shoot me, so that was fun… I [also] like that it was organized in [Paresky] Commons. It was way closer. Closer for people to go, and to get to and I feel in this awful weather it motivated some people to get there. I feel like there were some new interesting clubs that I’ve never seen before, so there were some interesting organizations that people should check out,” Wicinski said.
Phan also added that there was a great diversity and quantity of clubs. She noted that there was an extended enthusiasm from the attendees as well as a great club camaraderie and collaboration between the different organizations.
“I thought that the attendees were really sweet and open to hearing about the new clubs there, especially given there were so many of them and everybody was trying to get emails. There were a lot more clubs than I expected. I found that almost all of the leadership of the different clubs were promoting each other and their causes. I really appreciated that sense of club camaraderie, and I think that the community there was really great,” Phan said.