Club Expo is one of the most popular traditions at Concord Academy. Hosted on the night of Friday, September 10th in the Stu-Fac, Club Expo showcased the various clubs that students can join. It is a time for the community to come together, and introduce the many opportunities that can be taken advantage of. Last year, Club Expo was a virtual event, however this year, students were able to fully immerse themselves in the annual tradition.
Students were provided with pizza prior to the event as the Stu-Fac was closed down so club heads could set up their tables. All clubs were given a table to display various signs and decorations to entice others to investigate their offerings. If a student was interested in signing up to be a member of the club, they could approach the table and simply fill out a form. Oftentimes, those who were working the tables would call out to students passing by and encourage them to join their club. Natalie Samulka ’24 mentioned, “It was really fun and boisterous… It was great to make connections with other classmates, especially those in other grades.”
While the students were roaming the Stu-Fac and club heads were trying to attract interest to their clubs, music was blasting over the speakers. Maddy Plotnick ’24 commented, “It was really overwhelming, in a good way. It was energetic and loud. Everyone was trying to encourage you to join their club, and it was a very welcoming atmosphere!” Others found the loud atmosphere to be overpowering. Hannah Bodnar ’24 vocalized, “The only thing I didn’t like was everyone screaming. It was really overwhelming when you were trying to sign up for something.” Will Simon ’24 also shared this opinion. She expressed, “It was a little bit chaotic. People were talking and yelling which made it difficult to hear information about clubs and meetings.”
In the center of the room, there was a raffle run by the Student Council. Everyone who attended the event was signed up for their raffle, and the draw was completely random. Prizes consisted of gift cards, t-shirts, and other fun items. In addition to Council’s raffle, DEMONS, (Dreamers, Engineers, Mechanics, and Overt Nerds), hosted a raffle as well. This club was raffling off the opportunity to get your face lasered on a piece of toast!
To attract engagement and raise money, many clubs were selling food and merchandise. Ritika Sinha ’24 said, “I liked the food, especially the baked goods. I bought some merch from Lacrosse Club and some cupcakes from a club called Project Bread.” KK Macey ’24 also commented, “I bought a bunch of merch and food at Club Expo! I bought a sweatshirt from PECO as well as a bookmark from Poetry Club and some popcorn from Politics Club.”
Many students ended up signing up for a wide variety of clubs. Irene Zheng ’24 said, “I joined PACA, GRiT, Centipede, Big Data, Robotics, CAFE, EASA, DEMONS, Classics Club, and Science Club!” Irene also reflected on her experience compared to last year saying, “Last year was online so I feel like I did not get the whole social experience as I only saw the club heads in the zoom meetings. I enjoyed this year’s Club Expo much better..”
While the blaring music was overwhelming for some, overall, Club Expo was well-liked by the student body. The tradition encouraged connection and community engagement. It was a great time to socialize with friends, learn more about how to become active in clubs, and experience one of the unique and diverse aspects of Concord Academy. It brought back a sense of community and normalcy for those who have been off campus for the past year and introduced the CA culture to newer students.