UHS Hosts Freshman Club Showcase


Kerry Zhang

The UHS Model United Nations club booth greeted students as a part of Freshman Club Showcase.

Nikki Piedad, Staff Writer

Freshman Club Showcase was held at the crossroads on Sept. 16, during an extended lunch period. It was the first school-sponsored opportunity for the 47 clubs in attendance to reach out to freshmen and other potential club members. The IMPACT program led groups from their homeroom to the crossroads to encourage new students to learn about the variety of clubs on campus.

“It was a good introduction to club culture at UHS,” freshman Layla Alimadadian said.

The showcase featured a variety of established campus communities like Model United Nations and the Youth Action Team. Because of the first come, first served nature of the signup process, many lesser-known clubs had a chance to grow their membership as well.

“I liked it being at the crossroads . . . instead of off at the basketball courts,” junior Selena Wang said.

Wang is the president of Crochet for Care, a community service club that crochets and knits goods to donate to hospitals and animal shelters. She explained that the increased foot traffic in the crossroads allowed clubs to have more exposure compared to previous years.

“One thing I believe attracted many people to our stand was how colorful our decorations were,” Wang said. “I brought a lot of plushies I had crocheted and blankets people donated to decorate.”

The new location also meant that event organizers and club representatives had to effectively accommodate so many clubs in one area while still being accessible to freshmen and other interested students.

“I’m not sure if there was a specific format to how the clubs were placed or if it was just based on who signed up first,” sophomore Corrine Wu said.

Wu explained it would be helpful if club tables were organized in categories based on what their purpose was to make it easier to find communities that match each student’s interests.

The layout of the showcase was the main point of criticism for many students who attended. People swarmed the groups of tables clustered in the center of the crossroads, but some clubs were left in the corners near the bathrooms or theater and received less attention.

“I remember walking around, but not bothering to approach those clubs due to how separated they felt from the rest of the event,” Wang said.

But ultimately, many club populations successfully expanded because of the event.

“I thought that [the] club showcase was pretty successful,” senior Emily Sun said. “There were a decent amount of clubs that did an amazing job promoting their clubs and a lot of students seemed interested [in interacting] with the clubs.”

The positive reaction from people at the showcase who otherwise would never have known about junior Rabbana Bari’s club was one of the highlights of the club showcase for her. Bari is the president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which aims to be a fun, inclusive and informative community centered around Islam.

“High school muslims . . . can have a safe space – an open space – to discuss,” Bari said.

Bari said she has seen new faces at MSA meetings thanks to the showcase. Being able to expose students to clubs that might not be on their radar is important in creating a sense of community and preserving opportunities and hobbies for the next generation of high schoolers.

Whether it be to build a resume or to find a new passion, upperclassmen agree that getting involved in some part of high school culture early on is especially important. 

“[Freshmen] won’t feel so out of place because they will walk around campus and see people they know,” Bari said. “Maybe exchange a short conversation in passing periods.”

By bringing so many different groups together, the showcase was a formative way for freshmen to learn about the school’s network of clubs and find places they and their friends can express their interests.

“If for whatever reason UHS introduced a crochet class, I would never join it because I feel stuck in the AP schedule that this school provides,” Wang said. “I would never allow myself to take that much time out of my year for a passion, but clubs allow that passion to thrive in a more flexible space.”

With the conclusion of Freshman Club Showcase, UHS ends this fall with a total of 110 clubs. Students still can and are encouraged to explore UHS’ wide spectrum of clubs, which can be found on the school website.