Joining clubs in high school is extremely beneficial for a student. Joining clubs teaches students how to work together for a common goal, communicate effectively, use creative thinking, gain a sense of community and meet new people. With 46 clubs available in the upper school, it can be easy to get lost in the options and hard to narrow down which clubs best fit you. Some clubs on campus, such as Key Club and Dance Marathon, are more well known than others so it’s important to showcase the smaller clubs on campus to give students the opportunity to experience all that Maclay has to offer.
Multicultural Awareness Club (MAC) is a club dedicated to learning about other cultures. Each month, MAC studies a different country to learn about its people, traditions, customs and food. Twice a year, MAC holds Culture Fairs with food and information from other countries to shine light on the cultures there. Through the money they gain from fundraisers, MAC lends money through KIVA, a non-profit created to allow people to lend money through the Internet to low-income students and entrepreneurs in 80 countries. MAC’s next event is the culture fair at the end of April.
“I wish more people knew about how fun cooking and making banners for culture fairs can be,” MAC president Ariana Sanuallah said. “People can join MAC by attending the meetings held at the beginning of the year.”
Spectrum Club is focused on emphasizing the fact that we are all different, yet the same at Maclay. Their focus on mental health and social awareness, celebrating diversity, developing empathy and anti-bullying aims to make Maclay a better place. Spectrum Club is a great choice for people who are interested in an inclusive community and want to get more involved around campus. They have lots of celebrations on campus such as the Chalk Walk for Black History Month and the temporary butterfly tattoos for International Women’s Day. Some of their events in the past have celebrated Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Neurodiversity Awareness Month and overall mental health and positivity around school.
“Being a part of Spectrum and meeting so many new people has widened my point of view and allowed me to learn and grow a lot,” senior Kaileigh Schmidt said. “I think that when people think of the club they think we only support the LGBTQ+ community and that people not a part of that group shouldn’t join Spectrum. We have such a big variety of people in the club and celebrate many different groups. You don’t have to be a part of a specific group to join Spectrum or to join in on our celebrations. Being a part of Spectrum has allowed me to be involved in a group of people that I know are always welcoming and supportive of one another. I like being able to recognize faces around campus and have a connection with them. I’m also happy to be a part of a group that can make others feel welcome and included on campus.”
Finding a community with people who have similar interests does not have to be found in food or beliefs; it can also be found in video games. Maclay’s Esports team started as a way to compete against surrounding schools, but turned into a nationally-recognized team. Maclay Esports competes in the PlayVS league which matches schools against geographically close competitors to create a varsity sport feel for the players. To be on the team, you have to be able to compete in at least one game that is offered.
“We play matches against other schools after classes, practice as a team and have Dr. Perry give criticism on our mistakes and compliments on our successes,” senior Lucas Mauch said. “He really does his job as coach well, as we have had three of our teams make playoffs in the eastern conference, and one of them won the whole eastern conference championship. He goes above and beyond to elevate the talent on each team he leads by coordinating strategies and organizing players. I wish people would realize that, while we do compete, we all are also trying to have fun in a shared hobby. We all have lives outside of the games we play, and many of us have jobs, sports and other hobbies. My favorite part of being a part of the Marauder Esports Club is being able to take a break from the stress of high school and having quality time to relax and enjoy competing in the games I play with the team.”