Written by: Niyanthri
Edited by: Erich
Visual by: Owen
For the first time in two years, one of high school’s most eagerly anticipated events has returned in person: Club Expo! Over the past few weeks, clubs have been busy preparing for Club Expo 2022. The long awaited event is a chance for existing clubs to welcome back previous members and attract new ones, while pilot clubs, clubs taking off for the first time, show off what they have to offer.
Mr. Woods, ISM’s CAS and Activities Coordinator, notes that this year’s Club Expo features over fifty clubs, five of which are pilot clubs. This impressive array of clubs not only exhibits the diversity of interests that can be explored in high school, but also highlights the massive effort that was undertaken to organise such a large event. It is evident that doing so required the collaboration of many different individuals. Mr. Woods particularly acknowledged that “Student Leaders, and Teacher Advisors played a massive role in returning to this event. Behind the scenes, we had help from Malou Talens in the Fine Arts Office, Arni Supan in the High School Office from the Service Desk, and the IT Team.” However, the pandemic did impact how the event was carried out in a few significant ways, in that changes to Club Expo made during distance learning were also followed through during the in-person event. As Mr. Woods points out, two recent additions were “the Student Ambassador Help Desk in the Lofthouse and Library… and that we also kept the slides from the online Expo, so students can get information and join if they cannot, or do not want to join the live event.”
Club Expo was a feat of organisation and creativity for the clubs participating, as well. Dylan (12), the president of the Sustainability Council reiterated the importance of Club Expo, and the amount of effort it took, pointing out that “Our members spent a lot of hours, planning a few weeks in advance to prepare… More than just to recruit members, I think a lot of clubs see it as a way to assert their presence in the student body… Our members in charge of Club Expo (a lot of which were freshmen!) brainstormed ideas, stayed after school, and came in super early to ensure that our area looked nice.” Furthermore, the sheer number of people participating in the Expo clearly made it challenging for clubs to stand out and attract new members, while also bringing new opportunities for them to be creative. In relation to this, “I think one thing that made [Sustainability Council] stand out was the projector brought by our ES/MS liaison as it projected photos of our past councils, our past projects, and what our club was about… from what I remember, this year was definitely just as good as, if not better, than last year’s Club Expo — everyone was looking to bring back that signature Bearcat spirit, and that definitely came across with all the unique ideas clubs had come up with.”
While many seniors recognized the similarities this year’s Club Expo bore to that of previous years, for many members of the high school community, this was their first opportunity to experience the event in the flesh. Manuel (10), the PRO of Fine Arts Council, noted some organisational aspects of the event, stating that “ Fine Arts Council (FAC) took about half a week to prepare for Club Expo, which is actually quicker than other clubs of FAC’s stature… The best part of Club Expo was seeing how passionate people were about their clubs. It goes to show that most… people have advocacies that they promote. This was also my first Club Expo in-person and I am really excited for the next one!” Aside from the clubs themselves, Club Expo is also a unique experience for students looking for clubs to join. A new sophomore student, Aliénor, joked that “the best part of Club Expo was obviously the food. She continued, “in terms of education [though], the best part of club expo was the engagement of each club’s council.”
This year’s Club Expo has clearly been a fun, informative, and engaging experience for everyone involved, and a great way to showcase the diverse options students have at ISM to explore different passions and interests. Club Expo 2022 could not have been such a success without the organisation, coordination, and creativity of all the people involved in planning the event, as well as the enthusiastic participation of the student body. Let’s carry this energy forward into the rest of the school year!