Club Fair enhances involvement, leadership
Story by Mariella Virgilito '24
High school is a time for students to find connections, passions, be involved and make memories outside of the classroom. On Tuesday, Sept. 5, Marian hosted its annual club fair during the Crusader Activity Block. All students gathered in the west gym to listen to presentations given by their classmates about the clubs offered at Marian.
The club fair is a way for students to seek membership and get people involved in school-sanctioned activities. Clubs also give students the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and exemplify the core values of Community, Compassion, Service, Empowerment, Spirituality and Marian Identity.
Mrs. Kris Hennings, the Dean of Students, has helped coordinate Marian’s club fair for the last five years. “Being the Dean of Students can feel a little ‘Debby Downer,’ so it’s nice to help out with something fun,” Hennings said.
Hennings helps with the fair because she “tend[s] to know a lot of the kids, which makes it easier to help set them up and find clubs and activities that they are interested in. I walked around at each club station and it was so fun to hear kids laughing and finding connections through their passions,” Hennings said.
“As I reflect back on my high school experience, my most memorable times are the events, games and more that happened outside of the classroom,” she said. Studies show that students who have any connection to their school do better with their grades, attendance and mental health. Joining clubs is an easy way to make connections with friends, teachers and to simply practice a passion. “It’s the camaraderie of a club and being a part of something that is so special,” Hennings said.
Over the past few years, changes were made to the fair to help the rest of the school year run smoothly. “The biggest change we have made this year was asking students to only sign up for two clubs. This restriction helps us reach our goal of having every student be involved in at least one club, while not over-extending themselves,” Hennings said.
Freshman Molly Kinney found the club fair to be rewarding by “making new friendships, getting to know teachers or future teachers and expanding my relationship with them,” Kinney said. She also mentioned “that [the club fair] could help you in the future when you need assistance with college applications or letters of recommendation. I also feel like the clubs are a good way to get a break from the stress of school,” Kinney said.
Senior Maggie McGill shared her experience as the co-leader of a club and an involved Marian student: “Joining a club is beneficial because it allows you to make friends who share the same interests as you. For me, starting Veggie Club with my cousin, Bridget, was beneficial because it made me more comfortable with speaking in front of others, and I also learned so much about how much work goes into planning events,” McGill said.
Maggie estimates that she spends roughly 18 hours per week on different extracurricular activities. “I’ve really learned how to use my time wisely and how to get the most done with the least amount of time. Also, though it is a lot, by participating in so many things, I’ve been able to do all of the things I love, like singing in choir and musicals. Having such a busy schedule has taught me so much about time management, which will definitely be useful in college,” McGill said.
Through clubs and extracurricular activities, students practice becoming confident, independent-thinking leaders inspired by faith. Community, compassion, service, empowerment,spirituality and Marian identity strengthen the everyday practice of being an involved student.