By Daniel Dai ’22
Clubs are where students with mutual interests come together. This winter, under the new Woodberry norm, the Student Activities Period was added to the Friday morning schedule. Positive response demonstrates that the Student Activities Period encourages participation and allows Woodberry clubs to thrive.
At the start of the school year, Woodberry students, especially the new boys, are strongly encouraged to attend the club fair and learn about the clubs at Woodberry. Exposed to attractive activities and Woodberry camaraderie, students no doubt will sign up for several clubs.
Clubs like GSA and Coffee Society sound interesting and are fairly new to many Woodberry students, yet, sadly, the lack of time for club meetings discourages students to participate. Students are reluctant to return to classrooms and attend a course-like club meeting after tiring classes and practices, not to mention the precious weekends.
This hurts clubs a lot, because participation is what allows clubs to flourish, especially those that are just founded. But the Student Activities Period revives the clubs again.
The presence of the Student Activities Period stresses the importance of Woodberry clubs and encourages students to spend part of their academic day pursuing their interests. Positive survey results support this reasoning:
- Diverse Woodberry Clubs:
During the Student Activities Period this winter, many respondents attended a variety of Woodberry clubs, including GSA, International Forum, Talon, Medical School Club, Robotics, and Chess club. Woodberry clubs show that there are endless interests for boys to explore, whether artistic or political, multicultural or scientific.
- 20% of the respondents had never joined a club meeting until this January…
Woodberry boys are known, challenged, and loved at Woodberry, and the Student Activities Period epitomizes this value. Under the Student Activities Period, students are challenged to adventure something they have never experienced before, and they will no doubt find something they are truly passionate about and hold on to it. During the Student Activities Period, I attended International Forum for the first time, and I genuinely enjoyed sharing Chinese culture with my friends who are from different countries.
- 45% of the respondents joined a club meeting during the Activities Period:
Out of 167 respondents, 75 students joined a club meeting during the activity period. The participation rate is mediocre, and it could get higher. In the spring, faculty sponsors and club leaders should send out emails and encourage more students to participate in club meetings.
- 81% of the respondents enjoyed the Student Activities Period:
The majority of the respondents had a wonderful experience during the Student Activities Period this winter. In the spring, if students choose not to attend a club meeting, the Activities period will be a nice free period for students to relax. If students attend a club meeting, which they are strongly encouraged to, they can certainly learn and enjoy in 45 minutes.
While the pandemic diminishes some parts of Woodberry life, there are still ways for students to connect with peers and establish life-long friendships, and club activity is one of them. In fact, when social activities such as seated meals and athletic games are limited, Woodberry clubs become increasingly significant to Woodberry boys. Students, why not get outside your room and join a club meeting on Friday morning?
If you want to learn more about clubs at Woodberry, please view this google slide:
If you are interested in starting a club, contact Mr. Guldin at Greg_Guldin@Woodberry.org.