New Clubs Enrich Student Life
Each year, Hopkins students take the initiative to start their own clubs in support of the diverse interests of the student body. Hopkins welcomed the addition of 33 new activities this year, each representing various fields of interest, ranging from sustainable fashion and environmentalism to Tetris tournaments and E-Sports competitions.
Of the 33 newly-established clubs, twelve are community service-based. The Helping Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Club (HAAPI) plans on engaging in fundraising. HAAPI co-head Amanda Wang ’23 noticed the absence of an Asian American activism club on campus; she created the organization in hopes of helping “underprivileged Asian communities and small Asian businesses that have been affected by the pandemic,” as well as combating “anti-Asian hate in general.” She describes some of the project ideas she plans on implementing: “This year we are planning a couple of fundraisers, including making and selling merch. We might also take trips to local Asian restaurants and businesses.”
The other 21 clubs focus on a particular subject or interest, both academic and non-academic.
Quiz Bowl, a new club for Science and Humanities enthusiasts, allows students to test their knowledge at local and national competitions. Arin Bhandari ’23, along with co-heads Cyrus Sadeghi ’23 and Nao Tomita ’23, “[took] part in some Quiz Bowl competitions last spring and thoroughly enjoyed them” and want to provide other students with this opportunity as well. Bhandari also shares some of his plans for this year: “We currently have some tournaments lined up for the fall and winter as part of the American Quiz Bowl League (AQBL), a quiz bowl league in the Northeast. [Additionally], we also are planning on hosting a tournament here at Hopkins where anyone can take part.”
The Mock Trial club also hopes to appeal to the competitive side of Hopkins students. Co-head Esther Gao ’23 looks forward to competing in Connecticut’s regional mock trial competitions hosted by Civics First, an organization that holds law-related competitions for students of all ages. To prepare for these competitions, club members will participate in “mock trials, [touch upon both the] prosecution and defense side, and work on scripts.” Gao notes that the club isn’t strictly academic; members must act out trials and come up with arguments on the spot, hence why “there’s a degree of creativity and improv to it.”
Also new to Hopkins this year is the way Activities are scheduled. Unlike during the pandemic, where clubs convened online after school, this year’s Activities block takes place on Mondays and Fridays during the lunch waves. Bhandari preferred virtual meet- ings because they “were useful [for] meeting up after school.” He continues, “We wish that the designated in-person meeting blocks were longer, instead of two short meeting blocks per week.” Gao disagrees, mentioning that the new schedule “might be better for juniors and seniors who need their after-school time to work on their homework.”
Club leaders share their outlook for the year. Cho feels “a little more nervous because of the scheduling changes” as compared to previous years, but is still excited to carry out the mission of her club. Wang anticipates that “as long as [the pandemic situation] holds up and we all cooperate as a community, we can really pull it off this year!”